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Ron Carter's '73 Solo Album : Blues Farm - how bad is it!!??

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Feb 10, 2004.


  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    This album has just been re-released on CTI over here and I saw it in the shops at the weekend - but it got really slated in JazzWise magazine, so I was put off buying it.

    So here's a part of the review of "Blues Farm" :

    "As profound a musician as Carter had been in the 60s, his own records somehow saw all good taste abandoned, first off by polluting a gloriously deep acoustic sound with pro-type amplifiers and secondly , by recording serially naff solos." :meh:

    So - how bad is it - anybody heard it?

    I nearly bought it on Saturday!
     
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    It can't be as bad as "Ron Carter meets Bach"! (For the record, Bach regretted the meeting! :D
     
  3. Lovebown

    Lovebown

    Jan 6, 2001
    Sweden
    I don't know Bruce...I'm personally looking for a CTI effort by Ron Carter called "all blues". I think it has Billy Cobham and Joe Henderson(!) on it. Reason I'm looking for it is because Marcus Miller, who's opinion I respect a lot, said somewhere it was one of his favorite records! However, getting ahold of this album seems very hard.

    /lovebown
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So are we saying that :

    "his own records somehow saw all good taste abandoned"

    is an accurate summary of his solo records?

    Seems strange for someone who has played in some of the best Jazz ensembles of all time!! :meh:
     
  5. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    Not really. Some guys are just better off as sidemen instead of trying to be leaders. I can't get enough of Ron's playing in the 60s and I have quite a few of his solo albums and none are really all that inspiring.
     
  6. I just try to remember how great he was in Miles section and try to not get in a position of having to listen to the solo stuff.
    For me his best work other than the Miles stuff, is the duo date he did "Live" with Jim Hall many years ago.
    For me, that piccolo bass stuff is real hard to listen to..intonation wise.
     
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA

    I have about 8 of his solo albums from different eras. None of them really knock my socks off. Not that they are horrible, but they just aren't quite as inspiring as his sideman work, IMHO.
     
  8. I picked up a Ron Carter album recorded on CTI, "Anything Goes," which featured a disco version of the title tune.

    The CTI label was notorious for trying commercialize jazz. Sometimes the results were not bad, more but often they were dreck, like the aforementioned Carter album (I'm sure this is one that Ron would rather remain out of print).
     
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Wow - that does sound like :

    "all good taste abandoned" !! :meh:
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member


    I have a few CTI albums with Freddie Hubbard and I really like them - Ron Carter plays on some of these as well.

    I got a CTI sampler and like most of the tracks - although I remember Deodato being cheesy at the time - I quite like him now! ;)

    Anyway - this has some great tracks - like Chet Baker doing "Funk in the Deep Freeze" ..... :meh:
     
  11. olivier

    olivier

    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Hey Bruce, here's the concluding passage in AMG about Blues Farm:

    Unfortunately, great musicianship does not always make for compelling results. Blues Farm's excursions are enjoyable, but somewhat reserved. Both the compositions and performances avoid strong emotions in favor of pleasing palettes of color and texture. The early-'70s production values only enhance this by softening the bed of musical tones. The resulting polish tranquilizes the sound and ultimately dates the album. — Nathan Bush

    I'm with Paulo re: Jim Hall/RC "Alone Together" album: great stuff
     
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I have Blues Farm on LP along with most of Ron's other CTI LPs.

    It sounds to me like the bass was recorded DI using a pickup, common for the period. The material is typical CTI, smoothed over but using very good players. At least it's not smothered in strings and pumped up with disco beats like most of the Hubert Laws and George Benson stuff was.

    I'd stick with Ron's Milestone releases of the late 70s/80s like Piccolo, Parade, Third Plane, etc.
     
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Not suprising given his comments from the recent clinic mentioned in Bassists :

    "On playing without an amp - "This makes no sense. This is going backwards". Without an amp, you have to work harder, dig in deeper, keep your action higher, all of which chokes the tone and causes player fatigue. Microphones won't help much since they are not focused enough and feed back. Use a pickup and concentrate on getting the proper technique. You should only need to play just loud enough to get the subtleties across. "We played without amps years ago and it was torture. I wouldn't want to go back to that ever again. Use your amp." "
     
  14. funkcicle

    funkcicle

    Jan 9, 2004
    Asheville, NC
    Everyone knows that "Blues Farm" was just an attempt to capitalize on the wildy popular success of Spinal Tap's "Sex Farm". :p
     
  15. The Brandenbergs are what did it for me..What a travesty!!
    and on the cello suites-WHY???? :crying:
     
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    To be honest, I can't make it past 30 second of any track!
     
  17. bass_means_LOW

    bass_means_LOW

    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Creed Taylor pass away? One of his last projects that I highly recommend is Charles Fambrough's, "The Proper Angle" perhaps not for his awe inspiring solos, but more for his compositions and supportive role to the soloists; Wynton, Branford, Joe Ford, etc. Just great music. Wynton contributes a composition, "Uncle Pete."
     
  18. bass_means_LOW

    bass_means_LOW

    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    I saw Mr Carter and his trio many times. That trio was swinging hard; i.e., Buster Williams, Ben Riley, and Kenny Barron.
     
  19. What did you think of "MR. Carter's" intonation on the piccolo bass?
     
  20. bass_means_LOW

    bass_means_LOW

    Apr 12, 2004
    Las Vegas
    Yes, I must admit that Buster (Buster has his moments where his ear will go into microtonal excursions) was getting more applause than Ron. I heard what he was trying to do and at the time, took it with a grain of salt along with my Tequilla and lime. I just try to remember Ron with Mr Hall, Mr Henderson; i.e., "State of The Tenor I, II" the stuff he did with Miles and Herbie, etc. Ron's playing on Joe's "Power to the People." Seems that quartet came out with a live vinyl that had a hip arrangement of "Three Little Words." Ron also wrote an alternate head to "So What" called "Eight" which seems to be a fine alternative to its hackneyed counterpart.