1 ..Seraphic Light part 1 ...(21:27)
2 ..Seraphic Light part 2 ...(20:54)
3 ..Seraphic Light part 3 ...(13:00)
All compositions by Carter/Parker/Shipp
© AUM Fidelity
Daniel Carter: flute, trumpet, clarinet,
. .. tenor/alto/soprano saxophones
William Parker: bass
Matthew Shipp: piano
Recorded live in performance at Distler Performance Hall,
Tufts University, Medford MA, April 5, 2017
Recording and live sound engineer: Peter Atkinson
Assistant engineer: Anjali Nair
Concert produced by Tufts University Department of Music
Mixed by Kurt Ralske
Final mastering by Michael Marciano
at Systems Two Studio, Brooklyn
AUM Coordination by Steven Joerg
Produced by Kurt Ralske
Artwork & package design by Ming@AUM
Seraphic Light is an exemplary long-form work of collective creative improvisation, performed by three masters of this high art. It was recorded live in the performance hall of Tufts University (Boston) in April 2017. These three masters each possess a complete & total devotion to the music. On this very rare trio meeting they manifest a meditative resonance, replete with lyrical & poetic exploration, throughout a sublime set.
This concert was the culmination of an event entitled “Art, Race, and Politics in America.” First was a screening of the 1959 documentary film, The Cry of Jazz. The film asserts “jazz is the Negro’s cry of joy and suffering” and “the Negro is [white America’s] conscience...if they have a conscience.” These bold and timely ideas pushed forward the second portion of the program, a discussion / Q&A with Carter, Parker, and Shipp. For 45 free-flowing minutes, these three men spoke truths, told stories, floated ideas, countered assertions, listened to questions, gave advice, told jokes, and laughed together. Having already established an honest and direct bond with the audience, they then seamlessly shifted their discussion to the musical conversation presented here.
While William Parker and Matthew Shipp are each deservedly world-renowned as players–improvisers–composers due to their extensive recording and performance work as leaders, the exceptionally gifted Daniel Carter remains an underground figure on the world stage; even relatively so within New York City where he has been ceaselessly active since the mid 70s. He is a masterful player of deep lyricism and passion; in possession of gorgeous tone across a full range of wind instruments: each of the three principal saxophones, trumpet, flute and clarinet. Seraphic Light showcases him on all of these.
Carter has long subsumed his voluminous gifts to the service of the project or performance at hand; tellingly, every group of which he has been a member has been a collective. He first came to AUM Fidelity label head Steven Joerg’s attention as a part of the seminal group Other Dimensions In Music (w/ Parker, Rashid Bakr, and the late Roy Campbell, deeply missed). Among the greatest fully-improvising bands in jazz history, ODIM were a most welcome & heralded presence on NYC stages throughout the 90s and into the 2000s. One of AUM’s first signings, their album – Now! – was made in 1997, the label’s heady year of birth.
Concurrent to latter-day ODIM action, Carter was a member of the collective quartet, TEST (w/ drummer Tom Bruno, multi-reedist Sabir Mateen, bassist Matt Heyner). TEST were an authoritative, deeply rooted free jazz energy unit of searing proportions, circa 90s NYC. They defined that reality in their time, and their relentless committment culminated in four releases at decades end, including a singular afternoon-into-evening studio set recorded at the AUM HQ of that time, TEST.
The most recent AUM Fidelity release featuring Daniel came out in 2003 (it been that long.. crikes!). A duet with bassist Reuben Radding; an album that fully lives up to its title, Luminescence. Immediate post-9/11 travel restrictions meant Carter could only bring one horn for his West Coast debut session & performance; he chose his alto.
In between then and this most welcome recurrance, Daniel made key "sideman" appearances on Parker & Shipp albums for the Shipp-curated Blue Series. And, since the early 2000s, he has recorded extensively with drummer (and devoted fan) Federico Ughi for 577 Records, including a gorgeous trio with William entitled The Dream, recently re-issued on LP.
Something I wrote 20 years ago about Daniel:
Every time I’ve heard the man bring an instrument to his lips - be it one of his many reed instruments, trumpet or flute - beautiful sounds emanate. If the world ever would truly silence for a moment, the first sounds I’d want to hear thereafter would be ones that Daniel Carter chooses, because I know that true democracy is deep in his essence, and beauty would commence.
Further to the the esteemed colleagues already mentioned, Carter has performed and/or recorded on pointed invite with: Sun Ra, Yo La Tengo, Billy Bang, Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, Earl Freeman, Denis Charles, Sam Rivers, Sunny Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, and innumerable others.
As Daniel Carter has recently entered his 7th decade, having spent well over 50 years being fully devoted to the music, it is hoped that this brand new recording – in the company of well-esteemed peers – will go some measure to increase recognition of the gifts he has long offered.
Although Seraphic Light is a =very= different album than Carter/Parker/Shipps’ previously released work together in open & long form – Time Is Of The Essence Is Beyond Time – these responses to that release apply here as well:
"Constantly underlying the music is a sense of humility and searching. Master improvisors, each with the accumulated grasp of decades of jazz history, who constantly interconnect, wrapping musical tentacles around each other, playing as one." –Nils Jacobson, All About Jazz
"A stunning release that captures the intuitive interaction and beauty of magnificent improvisers." –Signal To Noise