"All Blues" - Ron Carter (b); Joe Henderson (ts); Roland Hanna (p); Richard Tee (el-p); Billy Cobham (dr, perc)
Bassist Ron Carter had long been Creed Taylor’s first-choice bassist on record dates stretching as far back to the classic Gil Evans recording "Out Of The Cool" in 1960. Carter was the first bass choice for many Creed Taylor productions throughout the 1960s for the Impulse, Verve, MGM and A&M/CTI labels, even while the bassist was recording and touring as part of the Miles Davis Quintet. And it was Ron Carter’s dulcet tones and swinging accompaniment on the double bass that drove nearly every CTI album since 1970 into the overdrive that its soloists are often given sole credit for.
Surprisingly, though, Ron Carter’s second CTI recording, "All Blues", fell well below the radar. It was hardly noticed when it was first issued in early 1974 (his 1973 CTI debut, "Blues Farm", which was hardly a hit, still remains better known). Interestingly, it’s probably among the best of the albums the bassist waxed for the CTI label between 1973 and 1976. This is due in no small measure to the commanding presence of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson on “A Feeling”, “117 Special”, “Rufus” and “All Blues”. Carter here also solidifies a simpatico musical kinship with pianist Roland Hanna, who he’d first played with on a European tour in 1969. Hanna is especially featured on the florid trio feature, “Light Blue” (not the Monk piece), as well as Carter’s bop-y “Rufus” (not the Archie Shepp piece). Not surprisingly, Ron Carter dominates the proceedings, with his especially distinctive bass helming any number of attractive solo features (not to mention the overdubbed bass 'solo' of “Will You Be Mine”).
Recording: October 1973 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA
Production: Creed Taylor