The epitome of elegance, RON CARTER has been a world-class bassist and cellist since the '60s. He's among the greatest accompanists of all time, as well as a stalwart band leader, who has done many albums exhibiting his prodigious technique.
Carter began playing cello at ten, eventually moving on to the bass where he played in the Eastman School's Philharmonic Orchestra, and gained his degree in 1959. He moved to New York and played in Chico Hamilton's quintet with Eric Dolphy, while also enrolling at the Manhattan School of Music. Carter earned his master's degree in 1961. He worked with Randy Weston and Thelonious Monk, while playing and recording with Jaki Byard in the early '60s. Carter also toured and recorded with Bobby Timmons' trio, and played with Cannonball Adderley. He joined Art Farmer's group for a short time in 1963, before he was tapped to become a member of Miles Davis' band.
Carter remained with Davis until 1968, appearing on every crucial mid-'60s recording and teaming with Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams to craft a new, freer rhythm section sound. The high profile job led to the reputation that's seen Carter become possibly the most recorded bassist in jazz history. Carter's been a member of New York Jazz Sextet and New York Jazz Quartet, V.S.O.P. Tour, Milestone Jazzstars, and was in one of the groups featured in the film Round Midnight in 1986.
He's led his own bands at various intervals since 1972, using a second bassist to keep time and establish harmony so he's free to provide solos. Carter even invented his own instrument, a piccolo bass. Carter's also contributed many arrangements and compositions to both his groups and other bands. He's done duo recordings with either Cedar Walton or Jim Hall. Carter's recorded for Embryo / Atlantic, CTI, Milestone, Timeless, EmArcy, Galaxy, Elektra, Concord, Blue Note, among countless others.
Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, CARLA COOK began her early singing career in the church choir at age 5. After high school, Carla moved to Boston, Massachusetts to pursue a degree in Speech Communication at Northeastern University, and to further develop her musical skills through study and performance.
Over the years, Carla has traveled worldwide as both bandleader and featured vocalist for others, most notably the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Many recognize Carla as a powerful yet eclectic jazz vocalist drawing influence from Gospel, Popular, European Classical, R&B and the Motown Sound," reflecting her roots in 1960s Detroit. Carla Cook has made appearances all over the United States, Brazil, Europe, parts of the Middle East and West Africa. She has participated in such distinguished Festivals as the Chicago Jazz Festival, Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, The Turtle Creek Blues Festival, Ravinias Rising Stars (Chicago), the Viersen Jazz Festival, Jazz Open, Zelt and Ost-West Festivals (Germany), New Conversations in Jazz-Vicenza, (Italy) and a seven-city USA Tour sponsored by Remy Martin. Carla has recorded and performed with Regina Carter, Lonnie Plaxico, Aaron Goldberg, George Gees Make Believe Ballroom Orchestra, Wayne Shorter, B.B. King and Aretha Franklin, among others.
Her MAXJAZZ debut It's All About Love was nominated for a GRAMMY in 1999 for Best Jazz Vocal Performance and was also nominated for Best Recording Debut by the Jazz Journalist Association, and received the AFIM Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocal. Her second release Dem Bones was highly regarded as having the potential of a minor classic and her recent release Simply Natural continues to receive critical acclaim. In the words of a noted jazz critic, Cook is set to emerge as one of the major jazz voices of the new millennium."