Strings are sublimely attached to the two Ron Carter albums joined herein. For the past four decades, Carter's own strings (acoustic bass, piccolo bass, or cello) have graced thousands of recordings in virtually every idiom. On Pick 'Em from 1978, and 1981's Super Strings, Carter (b. 1937) leads his synchronous working quartet or a stellar quintet, both featuring Kenny Barron's eloquent piano. Pick 'Em ranges from the masterful overdubbed solo performance for bass and piccolo bass on "B and A" to the hoedown feel of the title track (featuring Hugh McCracken on harmonica) to a modal workout based on John Coltrane's "Impressions" that Carter called "Eight." Sixteen is the number of string players heard on 1981's Super Strings. The ensemble, sometimes in the Latin groove that Carter has relished in recent years, works hand-in-glove with a quintet that is in especially fine form on the leader's "Uptown Conversation" and Gordon Parks's poignant "Don't Misunderstand."
with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Ben Riley, John Tropea, Jack DeJohnette, Ralph MacDonald, Kermit Moore, Charles McCracken, John Abramowitz, Richard Locker, Hugh McCracken, and strings