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Benny Carter

Benny Carter

Multiinstrumentalist Benny Carter was born in New York City in 1907. By 1928 he played, arranged and composed for various orchestras (e.g. Cab Calloway, Chick Webb, Duke Ellington) and formed his own bands.

In 1935 he went to Europe, where he stayed until 1938 working with various bands. Back in the US he first formed a big band then worked with a sextet on the West Coast. In the 40s he settled in Hollywood and started to write film music ("Stormy Weather", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "Five Pennies" a.o.) and TV music for series ("M-Squad", "Ironside").

He also wrote the "Kansas City Suite" for Count Basie which received 5-star reviews. In the 70s he toured world-wide, recorded for Norman Granz' Pablo label and conducted seminars and workshops at universities. Benny Carter was an innovator in the 30s with his new approach to improvisation. He has been a charismatic bandleader. Together with Johnny Hodges he was THE alto saxophonist before Charlie Parker. He has an excellent technique and is always swinging.

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