Half Notes: Bryan Carter – Enchantment (2011)

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The young man pictured on the CD cover looks barely out of his teens and in fact it’s the picture of a twenty-year-old Bryan Carter, and drummer and composer out of Chicago and a junior a Juilliard at the time of the album’s recording last December. But everything else about his debut record Enchantment is what you’d expect from a seasoned vet about midway through a long, successful career as a jazz musician. Most of the songs, exemplary examples of the hard bop form at its peak, were written by Carter, and he produced and arranged all the music, too. Carter is also mature enough not to make this a “drum” record, preferring instead to create a more complete musical presentation. He leads a traditional quartet of guys I haven’t known about before (see video below to meet the players), but all sound good to these ears. Maybe that’s indicative of another one of Carter’s capacities beyond his years: the ability to lead a band as a coherent unit capable of taking good songs and making them sound better. High points include the highly developed “Enchantment” and the joyously old school bebop of “Phil’s So Good.”

Enchantment was self-released last May 31. Remember this name, Bryan Carter; you will likely be hearing it a lot more in a few years.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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