Carlos Garnett Biography

1 December 1938, Red Tank, Canal Zone, Panama. Garnett began teaching himself to play the tenor saxophone in his mid-teens, playing with musicians who were in the US military and were stationed nearby. In the early 60s, Garnett moved to New York City where he mostly played in rock bands although the modern jazz influence of John Coltrane was never very far away. In the late 80s, Garnett joined Freddie Hubbard’s band, making his recording debut with the trumpeter. He then spent time with Art Blakey and Charles Mingus before forming his own group, Universal Black Force, in which he drew upon jazz, rock, funk and Panamanian music.

After folding this band, during the 70s Garnett played with Miles Davis, Andrew Hill and Brother Jack McDuff, then was with Norman Simmons for almost three years before re-forming Universal Black Force and also leading a quartet at various New York clubs. In addition to tenor, Garnett also plays soprano and baritone saxophones, being self-taught on these instruments too. His earlier recordings show the sometimes untamed fusing of the manifold influences upon Garnett; by the new millennium he was very much in control of his music and vividly demonstrated that he is among the best of the post-Coltrane saxophonists of his generation.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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