NEW CD "CHEROKEE" release date 13thOctober 2014
Sleeve notes to the album 'Play Hendrix'
"BLUES MATTERS" says;-
RON E CARTER CHEROKEE
"Best known as a jazz fusion guitarist, you can pretty much sum up the world of Ron E. Carter by pointing to his previous album Play Hendrix. Add in some nods to the world of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and you're off into a world of excellant musicianship. With the exception of one guest vocal, this is a proper solo album with Carter playing, writing and producing everything in his home studio. And he is a very talented individual. For a time in the late nineties it looked like he was set for a breakthrough off the back of his debut album Ad Idem when he couild be found playing Camden's Jazz Café and opening for Gary Moore and Jack Bruce at the Chelsea Jazz and Blues Festival. However, time passes, but on the basis of this, he really should be better known. Granted not every song is out of the top drawer, but on the likes of Take The Blues Away, Movin' On and These Are The Times, you find yourself getting completely lost in his music. Despite his fusion background he has a way with a melody that works really well, and even though it only has tenuous linkes with the Blues, it's a record well worth checking out. "
"CLASSIC ROCK SOCIETY" says;-
"Mr Carter is a bit of a one man show on this release playing all instruments writing all the music/lyrics as well as taking production and engineering duties, in fact the only other person making a contribution is a female vocalist on the album's only duet.
As a guitarist Ron makes it clear that Jimi Hendrix is a major influence but for me his style only makes fleeting guest appearances on this release that mixes genres at will with blues, funk, latin and especially jazz all showing up.
Band influences I thought I noticed included Santana and the Doobie Brothers and the whole thing for me has a late 60's/early 70's cool vibe.
Highlights include breezy opener The Way You Feel full of summertime fuzzy guitar, riff based rocker Show Your Hand and the subtle laid back piano-based number Movin' On.
Duet Wild with impressive guest vocalist Yvonne Howard is quite different from anything else on the album and a little prog/folk possibly along the lines of Solstice and Mermaid Kiss and works really well. My favorite track, which surprises me!- is the most jazzy on the album. Ascention is a laid back chilled gem of an instrumental that softly drifts over the listener with its sublime jazz guitar, percussion and piano and a track I will return to often. Another instrumental March Jam closes the album although this one has more in your face jazz/rock feel and Carlos Santana-like lead guitar.
Very unusual album with some real highlights and boy do I admire his skill set."
Album Review by Chris Parker
It’s one thing to be hailed as “the ‘90’s Hendrix”, quite another openly to invite comparison with the late legend by making an album dedicated to him, filled with songs either written or inspired by him, and infused with his spirit.Ron E. Carter, though, has never been a man to shirk a challenge. Just before his debut album, Ad Idem, was released in 1997, Carter was rushed into hospital for emergency laser surgery on the one “good eye” left him after a car accident twenty years previously. Undaunted, he went ahead with the album launch as planned, commenting: “My musical development charts my personal journey through life and my triumph over those constraints that have inhibited freedom of expression.” Exposure to the explosive creative force apparent throughout this, Carter’s second album, will convince even the most jaded listener that the Kent-based guitarist’s struggle has been thoroughly vindicated.
Carter’s struggle to find a niche for himself in the overcrowded jazz/fusion scene of the late 1990s, and his emergence from the mêlée with a fast-growing reputation among an ever-widening circle of admirers, closely parallels the initially slow and grudging, but now almost universal acknowledgement of Jimi Hendrix’s genius among jazz players and aficionados. The American guitarist’s work found immediate favour with the open-eared - Gil Evans and Miles Davis most prominent among them - but, even as late as 1989, jazz guitarist Barney Kessel could still quite confidently assert that Hendrix’s music was “fakery and charlatanism”. It took a new generation of jazz guitarists, raised during the electric blues and rock boom of the 1950s and 1960s and thus able to hear Hendrix’s music in context, to appreciate the extraordinary virtuosity and power of the man, and to assimilate and emulate his technical innovations. John Scofield is one such: “Hendrix added a new dimension, but it’s still essentially blues. I really love his playing, just as I have a real thing for Albert King, B. B. King and Muddy Waters.” Bill Frisell is another: “For me, Hendrix is still brand-new. His stuff really held up.” Now Ron E. Carter has added his name to this growing list of admirers with this stunning album.
To play rock music - especially rock with the raw power of Hendrix material - is deceptively easy; the music has always attracted more than its fair share of air-guitar-playing poseurs. To play it well, so that subtlety coexists with its inherent vitality and energy, requires considerable musicianship, and jazz musicians - Mike Stern and John Abercrombie in the USA, Tony Rémy and Ron E. Carter in the UK, to name just four - have managed to combine the visceral punch of rock with the imaginative improvisational fluidity of jazz to great effect in the last decade.
On this album, Carter brings all the versatility and technical prowess routinely associated with jazz - his first musical love, closely followed by rock and blues - to bear on nine Hendrix compositions and three originals in the great man’s style. Overlying his jazz musician’s sensitivity to the possibilities of a good chord-sequence, however, is a natural propensity to go for the thrilling climax, to sustain the musical excitement via a breathless rush of ideas, by resorting to the extremes of textural variety and blistering energy that Hendrix made his hallmark in his tragically brief but extraordinarily influential career. Carter’s guitar soars, screams, plunges and stutters as Hendrix’s did, and he also thrillingly emulates Hendrix’s trademark ability to play rhythm and lead parts simultaneously, but - as he demonstrates on an intriguing arrangement of “Voodoo Chile” - he also brings a great deal of himself to the mix.
In his attempts to infuse Hendrix’s material with a twenty-first-century sensibility, Carter is flawlessly assisted by two of the UK’s finest musicians: bassist Mike Mondesir and drummer/pianist Gary Husband. Neither will need any introduction to any moderately observant jazz listener; each has been something of a fixture on the late-twentieth-century UK scene, the former frequently heard in tandem with his drummer-brother Mark, the latter often seen with such luminaries as Allan Holdsworth and (mainly as a keyboard player) Billy Cobham in addition to leading his own trio, and to Carter’s project they bring all their customary flexibility, forcefulness and control. Above all, though, they bring clearly discernible enthusiasm for Hendrix’s material to the project; the album, while imbued with love and respect for its dedicatee’s music, sounds like the result of serious fun in the studio, and such enjoyment is powerfully infectious.
“The '90s Hendrix”, on the evidence of this deeply-felt, joyous tribute to one of the last century’s greatest musicians, looks set to be hailed as “the twenty-first-century Hendrix”.
Chris Parker, April 2001
"Better known as a jazz fusioner, on 'Play Hendrix' (Steady On QFM008) guitarist Ron E. Carter (accompanied by jazz notable Gary Husband and Mike Mondesir, bass) pays tribute to the great cosmic hoochie coochie man himself. It's great stuff: the band members' techniques are jaw-dropping and they play at times with crunching power - but Carter's vocals lack Hendrix's sly hipness, on the likes of 'Purple Haze'.
AD IDEMAd Idem - The Album
June 1997, catalogue number: QFM 007
"Inspiration for Ad Idem (in this context meaning "As One") came from a deep conviction that one should follow their instincts and learn to be in tune with the power that comes from the heart and soul and not, solely from the brain. My musical development charts my personal journey through life and my triumph over those constraints that have inhibited freedom of expression. I cannot perceive a person being free musically if they are not able to experience freedom in themselves."
"It occurs to me that much of today's music is geared to appease a stultified and pressurised way of life. Popular music tends to be of the easy listening variety with a conspicuous absence of any complex musical statements. This musical trend reflects a deep malaise in society at large in which people feel cut off from their true feelings and are at the mercy of forces over which they have little control. People, especially young people, tend to appreciate musical expression which relates to personal experiences. It is those experiences that in my view are the very essence of life. Creativity is a vital part of the human spirit and to deny the creativity of individuals is to fly in the face of human evolution and development."
"Spirituality involves the understanding of the inner-self. The many convenient answers passed our way are suddenly questioned. The futility of repeating systems that fail time and time again becomes harder to accept. Many would have us believe that all powers lie outside the person whereas it is my belief that the strength and real power to progress comes from within. This is not to say that we do not tap into forces and energies around us and indeed we must remember the strength and changeability of outside forces as illustrated in Force 10 (track 4 of the album). There are also many challenges that confront us and you don't always see them coming. This is illustrated in The Stealth Rider, (track 8 of the album) who one minute is creeping quietly among the dunes and in a flash is before your very eyes".
Ron E. Carter, February 1997
Critics Synopsis"…. guitarist Ron E. Carter has already been dubbed "the 90s Hendrix" for his protean inventiveness, the speed and ferocity of his playing and his predilection for the wah-wah effect. Varying the tone and textures of his music with his own keyboards."
Chris Parker - Jazzwise, September, 1997
"…. Ron E. Carter….. has here produced an album which interestingly harks back to the 70s sound of Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, the music rich in riffs and vaguely ethnic harmony and occasionally sporting an odd metre…. A number of 70s style soul vocals complete what is finally a derivative but well-played and wide-ranging mix."
Mark Gilbert - Jazz Journal International, October 1997