Mel Martin and the Benny Carter Tribute Band
Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 2:30 PM PDT
Stanford University Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Palo Alto, CA
"Mr. Martin displays a dazzling technique and an awesome command of jazz harmony. His approach to playing is unique. He doesn't sound like anyone else." --Saxophone Journal
Among the Dukes, Earls, and Counts of jazz royalty, Benny Carter was known as the King. A master of both the alto saxophone and the trumpet, he was also a prolific composer, arranger, and bandleader. He passed away in 2003, but his spirit lives on in the music of his erstwhile student Mel Martin. Martin is a Bay Area jazz institution, known for his woodwind virtuosity and his teaching. Martin's extensive collaborations with Carter include tours of Japan with the Benny Carter Orchestra, and a recording project featuring Carter playing his own compositions with Mel's group. For a loving centennial tribute in 2007, Martin assembled a stellar combo of musicians, all of whom had been deeply touched by Carter. The project was so successful that Martin has made the tribute band an ongoing project, and they continue to bring the magical music of Benny Carter to appreciative audiences everywhere, including engagements at Yoshi's, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center, and the Hollywood Bowl.