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Ron Carter and The WDR Big Band, 'My Personal Songbook' / Classicalite review

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For the first time in the illustrious career of acoustic bassist Ron Carter, 10 of his original compositions are fleshed out by an extended orchestra. (In 2011, he formed Ron Carter's Great Big Band but did not concentrate on his own compositions.) My Personal Songbook, by Ron Carter and The WDR Big Band, is an absolutely gorgeous affair, colored by the ever-shifting shapes of brass, woodwinds, percussion and, of course, his trend-setting, always evocative stand-up bass. This magnificent upright bass, by dint of its pure physicality alone, is impressive and foreboding. Carter, though, at 78, still possesses the kind of manual dexterity to make this tall elegant wooden and stringed instrument his bitch. He plays it like no one else...ever.

Carter has big hands. He has long fingers. When he solos, it's like a spider on a mission, or an octopus on parade, tentacles reaching and unerringly finding the perfect note every time. Add arrangements by The WDR Big Band's Richard DeRosa and you've got a swingin' manifesto of cultural import. All 10 tracks are meaningful to their author and he explains why in an accompanying DVD that gives insight into the tunes.  READ THE FULL Classicalite REVIEW