Ron Carter
Kozmigroov Albums
Uptown Conversation [Embryo, 1970]
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Ron Carter (the most prolific bass player in jazz?) has played like a saint on so many records that one would expect his 69/70 debut album Uptown Conversation on Embryo to be so much more than it is. His work from this time included the albums Huntington Ashram Monastery and Ptah The El Daoud with Alice Coltrane-- two incredible slabs of prime Kozmigroov, so focused and pure I wept on reflex upon first hearing them. Unfortunately, Uptown Conversation is a messy album. It starts with a bright and breezy straight-ahead lite-funky jazz track (with Grady Tate on drums) and then descends into dirgey extended bass solos for much of the rest of the album ("Doom"). I've always felt indifferently about this one-- everything points to a great album, but I'm not a fan, and it's not at all kozmigroovy. [NW]