John Wallace Carter (September 24, 1929 – March 31, 1991) was an American jazz clarinet, saxophone, and flute player.[1]

Contents Edit


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Discography
    • 2.1 As leader
    • 2.2 As sideman
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Biography[edit] Edit

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Carter attended I.M. Terrell High School, and played music with schoolmates Ornette Coleman and Charles Moffett in the 1940s.[2][3][4][5] From 1961, Carter was based mainly on the West Coast. There he met Bobby Bradford in 1965, with whom he subsequently worked on a number of projects. He also played with Hampton Hawes and Harold Land. In the 1970s Carter became well known on the basis of his extraordinary solo concerts. At New Jazz Festival Moers 1979 he and the German clarinet player Theo Jörgensmann performed on three days. Afterwards Carter received complimentary reviews and wide recognition from around the world. He and Jörgensmann met again in 1984. The program of the Berlin JazzFest was built around the clarinet. After Carter's solo performance, he and Jörgensmann also played together.

Between 1982 and 1990 Carter composed and recorded Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music, in five albums focused on African Americans and their history. The complete set was acclaimed by jazz critics as containing some of the best releases of the 1980s.

A clarinet quartet with Perry Robinson, Jörgensmann and Eckard Koltermann was planned for 1991, but Carter did not recover from a nonmalignant tumor. Later that year he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

Discography[edit] Edit

As leader[edit] Edit

  • 1969: Seeking (Revelation/Hatology) with Bobby Bradford
  • 1969: Flight for Four (Flying Dutchman Records)
  • 1970: Self-Determination Music (Flying Dutchman)
  • 1972: Secrets (Revelation Records)
  • 1979: Variations on Selected Themes for Jazz (Moers Music)
  • 1980: Suite of Early American Folk Pieces for Solo Clarinet (Black Saint)
  • 1980: Night Fire (Black Saint)
  • 1982: Tandem 1 (Emanem Records)
  • 1996: Tandem 2 (Emanem)
  • 1982: Dauwhe (Black Saint)
  • 1985: Castles of Ghana (Gramavision)
  • 1987: Dance of the Love Ghosts (Gramavision)
  • 1988: Fields (Gramavision)
  • 1989: Shadows On A Wall (Gramavision)

As sideman[edit] Edit

With Horace Tapscott

  • The Dark Tree (Hat ART, 1991 [1989])

With Clarinet Summit

  • You Better Fly Away (1979, MPS Records)[6]
  • Clarinet Summit (1983, India Navigation)
  • Clarinet Summit, Vol. 2 (1983, India Navigation)
  • Southern Bells (1987, Black Saint)[7]

With Vinny Golia

  • Spirits in Fellowship (1977)
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