Daniel Carter/Reuben Radding
Daniel Carter/Reuben Radding
AUM Fidelity

Daniel Carter is a musician, writer, visual artist, conversationalist, and all-around inspirational spirit based in New York City who has been creating freely improvised music since the early 1970s. He performs most often on alto and tenor saxophones, trumpet, clarinet, and flute, though he also plays drums, guitar, and sings. While Carter is probably most well-known for his key role in long-standing free jazz collectives such as Other Dimensions in Music and Test, he also regularly collaborates with rock bands, abstract noisemakers, singer-songwriters, and more. These projects include some relatively famous outfits, but most often involve countless others who are less familiar to the general public. It’s probably safe to say that he has collaborated with thousands of musicians over the years.

Reuben Radding was born in Washington, DC, in 1966 and took up music as a young man, participating in that area's active punk scene. (Hear him on Dain Bramage's I Scream Not Coming Down LP, which also features a young Dave Grohl.) He moved to New York City in 1988, studied bass with Mark Dresser, and started to collaborate with many downtown jazz musicians. Today he leads several groups, runs the Pine Ear label out of the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, and is active on the Klezmer and Balkan music scenes.

Radding lived in Seattle from 1997 until 2002, and in 2001 he received a grant that enabled him to bring Daniel Carter to Seattle. He and Carter had performed together in various configurations since 1993, but didn’t have the opportunity to fully investigate their collaborative duo. Airline luggage restrictions as a result of the September 11 attacks meant that Carter could only bring one instrument with him on his trip out west. He brought his alto saxophone, which he has described as his "main axe".

Luminescence consists of both live and studio recordings made during October 2001. Carter and Radding are sensitive and empathetic listeners, with each player playing a supporting role while also being assertive of his own ideas. Their shared experience in a wide breadth of musical concepts enables them to cover a fairly broad range of sounds without seeming forced or contrived. Carter has something of a tendency to be typecast as an exclusively high-energy player by folks who are not well-versed in his overall aesthetic, which may be one reason why the lyricism of Luminescence seems to have caught a number of people off-guard. Regardless, this is lovely music.

Hear some of Blessing the Ride.

Daniel Carter: alto saxophone
Reuben Radding: bass