Carter, Benny

orig. Bennett Lester Carter

born Aug. 8, 1907, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died July 12, 2003, Los Angeles, Calif.

U.S. jazz musician.

Known as one of the primary stylists of the alto saxophone, he was also an accomplished arranger, composer, clarinetist, trumpeter, and bandleader. He played in the big bands of Chick Webb and Fletcher Henderson before assuming leadership of McKinney's Cotton Pickers (1931–32). Carter worked in Europe (1935–38) and moved to California in 1945 to write music for film and television. His best-known composition is "When Lights Are Low." He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000.

* * *

▪ American musician
byname of  Bennett Lester Carter  
born August 8, 1907, New York, New York, U.S.
died July 12, 2003, Los Angeles, California
 American jazz musician, an original and influential alto saxophonist, who was also a masterly composer and arranger and an important bandleader, trumpeter, and clarinetist.

      Carter grew up in New York City and attended Wilberforce College briefly before joining, as alto saxophonist and arranger, a series of big bands, including those led by Charlie Johnson, Horace Henderson, Chick Webb (Webb, Chick), and Fletcher Henderson (Henderson, Fletcher). Carter had learned the trumpet during his youth and began doubling on that instrument while leading McKinney's Cotton Pickers (1931–32); he then led his own big band in 1932–34. He spent most of 1935–38 playing and arranging in Europe. When he returned to the United States, he formed big swing bands in New York and California. Carter settled permanently in Los Angeles in 1945, where he concentrated largely on compositions for films and television, though he sometimes played alto saxophone on jazz tours and recordings.

      Carter's saxophone work at its best is characterized by purity of tone, elegant ornamentation, rhythmic precision and swing, and diatonic phrasing; often it features closely constructed lines based on the development of simple musical motifs. As an arranger he was especially noted for his scoring for woodwind sections, and he composed attractive songs such as "Waltzing the Blues," "Blue Star," and "When Lights Are Low."

      Among Carter's most acclaimed recordings are of the songs "Six or Seven Times," "Dee Blues," and "I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me," all of which were performed with the Chocolate Dandies; "Crazy Rhythm," with Coleman Hawkins (Hawkins, Coleman); "Shoe Shiner's Drag," with Lionel Hampton (Hampton, Lionel); and a 1961 album led by Carter, Further Definitions. Carter focused on composing and arranging during the 1960s, but he played with greater frequency from the mid-1970s. He maintained a highly active career well into the 1990s, when an octogenarian Carter was still regarded as one of the top alto saxophonists in the jazz world. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carter, Benny — orig. Bennett Lester Carter (8 ago. 1907, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–2 jul. 2003, Los Ángeles, Cal.). Músico de jazz estadounidense. Reconocido como uno de los principales intérpretes con estilo personal del saxofón alto, fue además un destacado… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Benny Carter — Nom Bennett Lester Carter Naissance 8 août 1907 Pays d’origine New York, État de New York …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Benny Carter — Infobox musical artist Name = Benny Carter Img capt = Benny Carter Img size = Landscape = Background = non vocal instrumentalist Birth name = Bennett Lester Carter Alias = The King Born = birth date|1907|8|8 in Harlem, New York, USA Died = death… …   Wikipedia

  • Carter — /kahr teuhr/, n. 1. Bennett Lester (Benny), born 1907, U.S. jazz saxophonist and composer. 2. Don(ald James), born 1926, U.S. bowler. 3. Elliott (Cook, Jr.), born 1908, U.S. composer. 4. Hodding /hod ing/, 1907 72, U.S. journalist and publishe …   Universalium

  • Carter — (De J. H. Carter, nombre de su inventor.) ► sustantivo masculino 1 MECÁNICA Pieza que protege la cadena de transmisión en la bicicleta. 2 MECÁNICA Caja, generalmente metálica, que protege algunas piezas del motor. * * * cárter (de «J. H. Carter» …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • cárter — (De J. H. Carter, nombre de su inventor.) ► sustantivo masculino 1 MECÁNICA Pieza que protege la cadena de transmisión en la bicicleta. 2 MECÁNICA Caja, generalmente metálica, que protege algunas piezas del motor. * * * cárter (de «J. H. Carter» …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • benny — benny1 /ben ee/, n., pl. bennies. Slang. 1. Benzedrine, esp. in tablet form. 2. any amphetamine tablet. [1950 55, Amer.; by alter. and shortening of BENZEDRINE; see Y2] benny2 /ben ee/, n. benne. * * * …   Universalium

  • Benny — /ben ee/, n. 1. Jack (Benjamin Kubelsky), 1894 1974, U.S. comedian. 2. a male given name, form of Benjamin. * * * (as used in expressions) Benny Jack Carter Benny Goodman Benny * * * …   Universalium

  • Benny — (as used in expressions) Benny, Jack Carter, Benny Goodman, Benny …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Benny Carter — Bennett Lester „Benny“ Carter (* 8. August 1907 in New York, USA; † 12. Juli 2003 in Los Angeles) war ein Jazzmusiker (Saxophonist, Trompeter, Bandleader, Arrangeur und Kompo …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.