Benny Carter, saxophonist
birth name: Bennett Lester Carter

Benny Carter

August 8, 1907, New York, NY ~ July 12, 2003, Los Angeles, CA

It is hard to think of another jazz performer who so embodied the uplifting values of creative expression and for whom there was such wide-ranging respect and admiration. His playing possessed a natural grace, and his orchestrations were shapely and refined, qualities delivered consistently during eight decades of performance and composition. More remarkably, Carter was among the very few instrumentalists whose skills as saxophonist and clarinetist were matched by his prowess on the trumpet. As Duke Ellington said, “I stand in awe of his proficiency.” ~ The Guardian: Benny Carter Obituary ~ July 15, 2003 © The Guardian

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July 12, 1997 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (2) Hanson, Mmmbop ~ #2 (3) Meredith Brooks, Bitch ~ #1 (1) Puff Daddy, I'll Be Missing You


To say that Benny Carter had a remarkable and productive career would be an extreme understatement. As an altoist, arranger, composer, bandleader, and occasional trumpeter, Carter was at the top of his field since at least 1928, and in the late '90s, Carter was as strong an altoist at the age of 90 as he was in 1936 (when he was merely 28). His gradually evolving style did not change much through the decades, but neither did it become at all stale or predictable except in its excellence. Benny Carter was a major figure in every decade of the 20th century since the 1920s, and his consistency and longevity were unprecedented. ~ Allmusic: Benny Carter ~ retrieved August 6, 2013 © Allmusic

Benny Carter ~ Awarded a 1986 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters Fellowship.

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