Gardenias for Lady Day Occasionally, Carter -- a master of all reeds -- flashes so much skill, he loses a song's sense. Not here. This Billie Holiday tribute offers… Gardenias for Lady Day Occasionally, Carter -- a master of all reeds -- flashes so much skill, he loses a song's sense. Not here. This Billie Holiday tribute offers… 2003-11-11 James Carter
Music Review

Gardenias for Lady Day (2003)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Release Date: Nov 11, 2003; Lead Performance: James Carter

Occasionally, Carter -- a master of all reeds -- flashes so much skill, he loses a song's sense. Not here. This Billie Holiday tribute offers sometimes lush, always thoughtful contexts in which he focuses on melody and story line. His overdubbed choir of baritone, tenor, and F-mezzo saxes swings mightily on ''I'm in a Lowdown Groove,'' while ''Strange Fruit'' achieves a stirring climax. And Greg Cohen's tasteful strings form perfect springboards for Carter's purposeful improvisations.

Originally posted Dec 05, 2003 Published in issue #740 Dec 05, 2003 Order article reprints