Ron Carter is an American jazz double bassist and composer. He was born on May 4, 1937, in Ferndale, Michigan, and began playing cello at a young age before switching to bass in his teens. Carter is considered one of the most prolific and influential bassists in jazz history, having played with numerous jazz legends throughout his long and successful career.
Carter’s musical education began at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, where he studied under bassist James “Jim” Crawford. He then attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he studied classical music and played in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1960, Carter moved to New York City, where he quickly became a sought-after studio musician, playing on numerous recordings for artists such as Eric Dolphy, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis. He would go on to play with Davis for over a decade, appearing on some of the most influential jazz albums of all time, including “Kind of Blue” and “Bitches Brew.”
In addition to his work with Davis, Carter has played with many other jazz greats, including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and McCoy Tyner. He has also released numerous albums as a bandleader, showcasing his talents as a composer and arranger.
Carter is known for his impeccable technique and versatility, able to play in a variety of styles including bebop, hard bop, and modal jazz. He is also known for his use of the bow, which he employs to create rich, sonorous tones on the bass.
In recognition of his contributions to jazz music, Carter received numerous awards and honors, including a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual or Group, in 1988. He has also been inducted into the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame and the International Jazz Hall of Fame.
Despite his long and successful career, Carter remains active as a performer and educator, teaching at the City College of New York and the Juilliard School of Music. His legacy as one of the greatest bassists in jazz history is secure, and his influence on generations of musicians is immeasurable.