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Ron Carter - Bass Musician Magazine - Jul 2021


The History of Ron Carter… 85 Years of Excellence (and Counting!)

The History of Ron Carter… 85 Years of Excellence (and Counting!)

The History of Ron Carter…

Mr. Carter is preparing to celebrate his illustrious ongoing career on May 10, 2022, at Carnegie Hall. Featuring performances by Carter-led groups in three combinations, NBC newscaster Lester Holt serving as emcee, and appearances from fellow artists Stanley Clarke, Buster Williams, and additional guests TBA, the night will uplift Carter’s continuous work

The History of Ron Carter… Bass Musician has been thrilled to cover Ron Carter over the years. He was most recently on our July 2021 cover, previously having graced the cover during our very early years of publication! Between that time, we have had the opportunity to share news of Mr. Carter, which we hope to continue for many years to come.

This history of Ron Carter was shared by his team…

Ron Carter is Jazz’s most prolific and widely known bassist in history – with over 2,100 recordings and counting, he’s even earned the Guinness World Record for Most Recorded Jazz Bassist in History to show for it. From the crystalline jazz of Miles Davis and Alice Coltrane, the rich soul of Aretha Franklin and Roberta Flack, to the artistic rap of Tribe Called Quest and more, Ron Carter has influenced eras of musical greats across countless genres. 

It’s challenging to sum up such a legend’s decades-long career, but the following highlights provide an adequate sample of Carter’s contributions to musical history. 


  • At the very end of the decade, a 22-year old Ron Carter hit the scene alongside Chico Hamilton
  • …before kickin’ out freelance work alongside Jaki Byard, Cannonball Adderley, Randy Weston, Bobby Timmons, and Thelonious Monk.


  • Did you know the venerable bassist is also a master of the cello? Check out Eric Dolphy’s Out There, featuring George Duvivier on bass, Roy Haynes on drums, and Carter on cello. 
  • In addition to his first records as a band leader, the 60s introduced Carter as a member of the second Miles Davis Quintet (alongside Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and drummer Tony Williams).


  • Carter became a mainstay of CTI Records, pursuing solo work and partnering with countless notable musicians, including Joe Henderson, Chet Baker, Houston Person, Hank Jones, Gabor Szabo and Cedar Walton and joining the New York Jazz Quartet.
  • A long time lover of Brazilian music, the 70s saw Ron joining forces with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Airto Moreira, Hermeto Pascoal, and many more. 


  • Ron Carter joins the lexicon of Rock and Roll, playing double bass on “Big Man on Mulberry Street” on Billy Joel’s album The Bridge.
  • In 1987, Carter won his first GRAMMY for his composition in the film Round Midnight…


  • … and in 1994, he won his second GRAMMY for Best Jazz Instrumental Group in a tribute album to Miles Davis.
  • Carter makes his mark on Hip Hop, underscoring the political nature of a Tribe Called Quest’s seminal Low End Theory, with Q-Tip dubbing him as “one of the premier bassists of the century.”


  • Throughout the 2000’s, Carter releases a host of solo records in addition to recording alongside Houston Person, Gerry Allen, Benny Golson, and many more.


  • Hello, Hall of Famer! In 2012, Ron Carter was rightfully elected to the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame.

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