Ronald Levin Carter, 4 May 1937, Ferndale, Michigan, USA. As a child Carter played cello, hoping for a career in classical music. Adept on several instruments, including violin, clarinet and trombone, he eventually settled on bass. He also opted for a career in jazz when he became aware of the difficulties confronting any black youth with musical ambitions centred upon the concert platform. He was in his early 20s before he began to perform regularly in jazz, securing a place in Chico Hamiltons quintet. In the early 60s he worked with Eric Dolphy, Don Ellis, Cannonball Adderley, Mal Waldron and Thelonious Monk, among many leading modern jazzmen. In 1963, he joined Miles Davis replacing Paul Chambers, and though many thought Chambers would be a hard act to follow Carter matched him and he remained in the group until 1968, where his rhythm section partners were Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams.
In addition to his work with Davis, Carter...
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