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Ron Carter is featured in PBS documentary, along with accompanying soundtrack album

Ron Carter
Courtesy of the artist/AWAACC
Ron Carter

For the last year or so, Ron Carter has been taking a well-deserved victory lap around this country and the world. There was the Carnegie Hall concert earlier this year—“For the Love of Ron Carter & Friends”—celebrating his 85th birthday. For the last six years, filmmaker Peter Schnall has been doing his very best to document the legendary bassist’s life in music through film. The resulting documentary, Finding the Right Notes, will debut on PBS stations on October 21. In addition, IN+OUT Records is releasing the soundtrack of the film on CD, as well as on double vinyl with a bonus track.

And there’s more. All this month (October) Carter has been in residence at Birdland performing with a different group every week. Earlier he played with his Striker Trio and his Quartet and this week he performs with his Big Band. He closes out the month with a week of duo shows with the pianist Bill Charlap. However, those four configurations only touch on the remarkable breadth of Carter’s career.

WBGO’s Brian Delp spoke recently with Carter about the documentary and his life in jazz. “Ron Carter has appeared on more than 2,200 recordings, making him the most recorded bassist in jazz history,” says Delp. “He won't tell you that. What he will tell you is why; namely, every time he has stepped into a studio over the last sixty plus years, it has been to make everyone around him sound better. Having spent 27 years broadcasting at WBGO, it surprises me that I've never had the chance to sit down and talk with the legendary bassist. What didn't surprise me at all was how much I learned during this short conversation with him.”

Enjoy their conversation here:

Ron Carter interview with Brian Delp

For over 27 years, Lee Mergner served as an editor and publisher of JazzTimes until his resignation in January 2018. Thereafter, Mergner continued to regularly contribute features, profiles and interviews to the publication as a contributing editor for the next 4+ years. JazzTimes, which has won numerous ASCAP-Deems Taylor awards for music journalism, was founded in 1970 and was described by the All Music Guide, as “arguably the finest jazz magazine in the world.”