As I spend time trying to learn this music and attending area performances, I realize that Washington DC has a wealth of talented artists dedicated to keeping jazz alive, well and prospering. Paul Carr is one of those talented artists and his latest CD Just Noodlin’ is a sample of why he is one of the areas finest performers.
After spending several weeks spinning this disc, Just Noodlin’ brings to mind the music of the golden Blue Note era. Part of that is because all of the tunes on this CD were recorded without overdubbing. This gives a feeling of living/playing/creating in the moment and I applaud Paul for taking that approach. The tunes include two songs composed by Paul himself in addition to two tunes written by Rueben Brown (another DC area player). Rueben wrote my favorite cut on the album – “Blue and Brown.” Other stand outs include the title track “Just Noodlin'”, “Krush Groove” (both composed by Paul) and “Pat & Chat.” Paul’s skills as a balladeer are showcased on “You’ve Changed.”
Joining Paul on this CD is the one and only Terell Stafford. Terrell continues to crank out quality work as leader and sideman – this recording is no exception. He is definitely one of the ones to watch in arena of jazz trumpet. His tone is to die for and his abilities on the horn are simply amazing. I always learn something when I listen to him and that usually sends me straight to the practice room (always a good thing). The core rhythm section consists of Andrew Adair (piano), Gavin Fallow (bass) and Steve Williams (drums). Also joining Paul on are Bob Butta (piano), Vince Evans (piano), Sam Turner (percussion), Harold Summey (drums) and Michael Bowie (bass).
Paul’s playing on the CD is fantastic and currently has me running all over town to hear him live. If you don’t live in the Washington DC area this is the next best thing. You can find out more about Paul Carr and purchase this great CD at his website http://www.paulcarrjazz.com. There was also an excellent interview with him on AllAboutJazz.com that can be read here.