These are Ron Carter’s words: “My responsibility as a bassist and bandleader is using every opportunity to create spectacular music.”
I think he is an all-senses-at-once, kind of expressive artist. Pictures of him in action with his bass show him as magnetic, smiling broadly, making facial expressions that immediately give you a sense of the direct connection to what is happening with the instrument’s strings, his fingers as he excites those strings into action, and the creative zones of his mind as he makes music. You can just hear and feel it.
The incredible magic and brilliance is in having of all of those amazing things happening at once. These are the abilities of all great inspired and creative artists, but some like Carter freely share by allowing their mere presence to be a kind of screen or canvas, showing us all a bit of the amazingness that is going on to create what we get to hear.
Carter leads like a shepherd, enticing, teasing, and encouraging, then guiding and making demands of his music-making mates. They are not his flock, but through a flow of inspiration, they act together. This is not unlike the guiding skill of the shepherd. JAZZIZ Magazine has simply put the artistry of this gentle giant of jazz this way: “Carter is the standard-bearer on his instrument.”
About The Artistry of…
The Artistry of… is a weekly series that reflects on the passion and essence of an artist. It airs Wednesday evenings on Dinner Jazz with John Devenish, made possible with the support of Yamaha Canada.