|John Wallace Carter|
September 24, 1929|
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
March 31, 1991 (aged 61)|
Inglewood, California, U.S.
|Instruments||Clarinet, saxophone, flute|
Carter earned a Bachelor of Arts from Lincoln University in Jefferson, Missouri in 1949 and a Master of Arts from the University of Colorado in 1956. He also studied at the North Texas State and University of California at Los Angeles.
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, notably the New Jazz Art Ensemble. 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, 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.
With Horace Tapscott
With Clarinet Summit
With Vinny Golia