The Music Never Stops

The Music Never Stops

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Access the digital booklet and liner notes.



“The Music Never Stops” is a beautiful piece of unheard history: an archival recording of a concert headlined by the late, great vocalist Betty Carter. Recorded in 1992, the show was a centerpiece of one of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s earliest seasons. Carter titled the singular show “The Music Never Stops,” because, well, the music never really stopped. She assembled three trios, a big band, and a string section on the stage and darted back and forth between the different ensembles, transitioning seamlessly and effortlessly between burning be-bop and deeply felt ballads, wearing out the musicians with her stamina.

The album highlights the legendary Carter’s many talents: her effortless way with a melody, her endlessly inventive improvisations, and her unparalleled ability to build both a narrative and a mood by spontaneously weaving jazz standards and her own genius material together. But this concert wasn’t just another night for Carter, and the record also features contributions from some of the best contemporary jazz instrumentalists working in NYC. The music contained everything one would anticipate from Carter: mesmerizing balladry, exhilarating swing, impeccable lyricism, stunning improvisation, and brilliantly constructed song-stories that are still visionary today.

Track listing

  1. Ms. B.C.
  2. Make It Last
  3. 30 Years
  4. Why Him? / Where or When / What's New?
  5. Tight! / Mr. Gentleman
  6. Social Call
  7. Moonlight in Vermont
  8. The Good Life
  9. Bridges
  10. If I Should Lose You
  11. Most Gentlemen Don't Like Love
  12. Make Him Believe
  13. Frenesi


Also featuring

Small Group
Geri Allen – piano
Cyrus Chestnut – piano
Ariel Roland – bass
Greg Hutchinson – drums
Clarence Penn – drums

The Big Band
Jerry Dodgion – alto saxophone
Rick Wald – alto saxophone
Alex Foster – tenor saxophone
Lou Marini – tenor saxophone
Joe Temperley – baritone saxophone
Art Baron – trombone
Robin Eubanks – trombone
Joe Randazzo – trombone
Lew Soloff – trumpet
Earl Gardner – trumpet
Ron Tooley – trumpet
Kamau Adilifu – trumpet
John Hicks – piano
Lisle Atkinson – bass
Kenny Washington – drums

The Strings
Jeanne LeBlanc – cello
Akua Dixon – cello
Julie Green – cello
Bruce Wang – cello
John Beal – bass

Dave Finck – bass


"She was at the top of her game and had New York at her feet for all the right reasons - her own woman, in charge. You can hear how good that made Betty Carter feel." - NPR