Ron Carter – Anything Goes (1975) [Ryan’s Record Reviews]

Welcome to the very first edition of Ryan’s Record Reviews! To kick things off, here’s something I just decided to do off the cuff as a result of a late-night listening session…

Ron Carter Anything Goes

Ron Carter – Anything Goes (1975)

Sure – when it comes to haphazardly whipping together a strange pastiche of bossa nova and disco without any written notes or plans… anything goes.

This album will be going up for sale on Discogs soon! Check back for a link.

(Please note: the cover image shown above is a photograph of the copy I own, and the one that I’ll be posting for sale.)

BEST SONG: “Baretta’s Theme”

TRACKS:

  • Side 1: Anything Goes; De Samba; Baretta’s Theme (Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow)
  • Side 2: Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love); Quarto Azul; Big Fro

Ron Carter’s ‘contractual obligation’ album, radically different to what me and my dad are used to from one of jazz’s most versatile bass players… and not in a good way.

This seems like a case of Creed Taylor and company telling the boys “hey cats, ol’ Mr. Van Gelder’s awfully busy right now so he’s only got an hour for you guys to run into the studio and just lay down whatever $!!! comes out of your head. NO! I didn’t mean Ornette Coleman $!?%, I meant… something the masses’ll like… clean and fancy. Simple as that. I’m sure you can whip something up quick. Anything goes. How does that sound?”

And that, my friends, is exactly how this album (and its title) came to be.

OK… maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch to say that’s what was coming out of Creed Taylor’s mouth those nights when the album was being recorded, but it pretty much sums up what you get here: an ersatz blend of sanitized disco-funk with Stan Getz-esque bossa nova beats in the most hilariously cheesy way conceivable.

I can’t begin to comprehend what kind of f***ing drugs everybody involved was on when this was being recorded.

While Anything Goes is by no means terrible, it’s way too kitschy and gimmicky for a musician of Carter’s status, and a very far way from essential listening – while upbeat and competently performed the compositions are uniformly bland and don’t stand out from one another (well….maybe except “Barreta’s Theme”).

And as much as some may cringe at the thought of “The Girl from Ipanema”, even the relative tameness of Stan Getz’ 1960’s bossa nova albums is more exciting than this appropriation – which is little more than a pale imitation.

So, what is it but a mere curio, a historical lesson in the things that could go wrong when Creed Taylor wants his artists to whip up and rush-release some lazy crap as quickly as possible with as little regard as possible for true jazz aficionados?

Bottom line: find yourself a copy of Pastels and never look back.

Oh, and by the way, about the cover art… don’t look at him.

Sgt Pepper back turnedPaul McCartney’s looking away from us on the Sgt. Pepper artwork NOT because he’s ‘dead’, but because as musically agile as he is, he can’t stand to listen to Ron Carter.

Then again, Quincy Jones can’t stand to listen to the Beatles either, so what the heck. The whole music world is an upside-down mess… and if you look at the cover of McCartney’s Tug of War, then soon you will realize it looks like he can’t listen to anything else! That’s what I see in his facial expression.

Macca WTF

BUT: next… coming up – Black Eyed Blues, a *beautiful album* by Esther Philips. Recorded and produced by the same crew at CTI/Kudu, no less.

And recorded, also, with involvement from the likes of Ron Carter himself and Bob James. What more could you ask for?

ALBUM RATING:  (3.5 / 7 stars)

SOUND QUALITY RATING:  (4.5 / 7 stars)

OTHER RELEASES I HAVE BY THIS ARTIST:

  • Pastels (CD only)

PERTINENT RELEASE INFORMATION (extraneous data about the edition/pressing of the album being reviewed):

  • Label / Catalogue Number: Kudu / KU-25
  • Country of Manufacture: Canada
  • Unique Feature(s): N/A
  • Pressed By… Quality Records Limited, Scarborough, ON, Canada
  • Lacquer Cut By… Rudy Van Gelder @ Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
  • Discogs Release Page: https://www.discogs.com/Ron-Carter-Anything-Goes/release/3852222

Welcome to Ryan’s Record Reviews!

Hello everyone! “Ryan” Alexander here (better known as OldMusicOnVinyl1), proudly introducing the long-overdue music reviews section of the DayTrippin website, in the making since 2014.

You may or may not be aware that I have been doing interesting, insightful and sometimes amusing reviews of music albums since 2014. As a strong, long-time music enthusiast and passionate writer, I am greatly pleased to say all of the music reviews I will post in the future will go on this centralized, multi-purpose blog

At this point, I will also be migrating most of the 50+ reviews I wrote and published over the years from a remote, New Zealand-based online venue for independent music reviewing – over time, my opinions and tastes have changed, so I may not necessarily hold the same opinion on a certain album as I did, say, 3 years ago.

Moreover, while I HATE to come across as an extreme perfectionist, I’m very picky about details, and some of the old reviews I posted may show a facet of my writing style that, to me, now feels decidedly unsatisfying (or otherwise flippant or hastily written by my current standards), so I may rewrite or alter a few to better suit what I think are the needs and readability level of our current audience.

Just to make something clear: if you have not been as deeply immersed in the music reviewing world as I have, then you may not be aware of what different text colours mean when I reprint track listings. So here’s a brief legend for the uninitiated:

  • RED TRACKS are highlights (stand-out cuts)
  • BLUE TRACKS are lowlights (the duds)
  • COLOURLESS TRACKS are everything in between

Of course, when I talk about what tracks are considered highlights, lowlights and so forth, they are rated relatively by the standard of the album’s artistic merit, i.e. the overall album rating.

Fellow vinyl enthusiasts take note: as it is becoming an increasingly pressing concern in today’s marketplace to receive new vinyl releases that are of disappointing quality, it is my duty to inform record buyers like you about which pressings sound better than others, so that you don’t waste your time and money making the same mistakes I’ve done by purchasing releases that turn out to be of poor quality (either due to other reviewers’ standards being different from mine, or due to there being little, if any, testimonials period).

As much as Ryan’s Record Reviews is a place to give unadulterated critiques on different albums spanning a century’s worth of music history, it is also a place to highlight albums that are superior in the areas of sonics and manufacturing (in my subjective opinion, of course!), covering all the bases of YOUR purchasing decisions, so that you can spend your money more wisely on high-quality releases. In addition, I will also post vinyl sound quality and pressing reviews at HISOnVinyl.com (How It Sounds on Vinyl), a dedicated, thorough database where you can find out the sound/pressing quality of a certain release in one click.

Of course, even when I don’t feel the need to talk about the sound quality at depth, I assign a star rating to an album’s sound quality in addition to just the album critique rating, so that audiophiles have a better idea of what to expect when they choose to check something out (particularly if it’s the exact pressing that I have on hand to listen to the album, and the pressings I own of each of the albums reviewed will be assigned their respective links to the Discogs database, to which I am a deep contributor).

And that’s it! Join me on my journey as I discover and revisit albums old and new, familiar and unfamiliar, and provide valuable opinions to the music world for years to come.

–“Ryan” Alexander, February 15, 2018