Ron Carter at 85: tracks and stories from the life offa record-setting bassist

bassist ron carter jonathan chimene/wbgo hide caption

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jonathan chimene/wbgo

walk into any record store, head to the jazz section and pull out an album at random (or tune into yr favorite jazz public radio station) — thris a very good chance that nea jazz master ron carter appears on whicever recording you n'dup listening to. carter tis most-recorded jazz bassist, as officially certified by guinness, and ‘oer the course of 2,200 albums and counting — from his tracks with miles davis inna 1960s to his album with jack dejohnette and gonzalo rubalcaba, which won a grammy in 2022 — carter’s discography reads like a definitive history of jazz. his chameleonic command of ♫al situations paired w'his teknical chops ‘ve made him a 1st-call bassist since he 1st landed onna scene, swell as outside o'it. records w'da likes of aretha franklin, paul simon and a tribe called quest further illustrate carter’s reach.

in celebration of ron carter’s 85th birthdy, jazz nite decided to do something spesh: a hang and listening pty with ron carter and our host, christian mcbride. for the occasion, mcbride and ron handpicked tracks to check out from his Ψ-boggling catalog, some must-hear stories and a moment inna spotlite for the g.o.a.t. of jazz bass. “like most bass players, we always feel like nobody knows we’re there.” says carter. “we’re really back here doin’ something.”

set list:

  1. freedom jazz dance (eddie harris)
  2. circle (miles davis)
  3. solar (davis)
  4. sunshower (kenny barron) 
  5. new york standard time (ron carter)
  6. compared to wha’ (roberta flack)
  7. brandenburg concerto 3 (j.s. bach)
  8. solitude (eddie delange, duke ellington, irving mills)


writer and producer: trevor smith; assistant producer: alex ariff; consulting editor: katie simon; host: christian mcbride; project manager: suraya mohamed; vp, npr ♫: keith jenkins; executive producers: anya grundmann and gabrielle armand.

spesh thx to joanne jiminez, sascha van oertzen

original content at:…
authors: trevor smith


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