Born: July 24, 1974 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
In jazz as in romance two is the magic number, but far too often horn players are shut out of the duo dating pool. More than any other format a twosome allows for free-flowing exchanges and impromptu digressions, liberty fully exploited by trumpeter Ian Carey and pianist Ben Stolorow on Duocracy. As mainstays on the San Francisco Bay Area jazz scene, both players have released critically hailed albums as leaders, but their duo represents a new direction as they investigate jazz classics and American Songbook standards (both familiar and rarely played). Duocracy unfolds as a series of unhurried conversations marked by lively wit, melodic inventiveness, dazzling counterpoint, quicksilver rhythmic shifts, and unguarded beauty....
Awards:"Roads & Codes": Best of 2013 - Downbeat Magazine (4 1/2 stars); Scott Albin; James Hale; Andrew Gilbert (NPR); Ted Gioia (hon. mention); Arnaldo DeSouteiro.
I dig Ian Carey. He's a trumpeter with a clean, clear sound who understands that there are listeners at the other end of recordings. On his new album, you hear Ian's tender sound on the horn and his passion for harmony. Deep down, Ian's a romantic traditionalist, and his reverence for velvet simplicity and heart-touching tones is evident. When the music on this album hits your ear, you want to hear more. It's a strange sensation. All of the songs on the CD except one (Just Friends) were composed by Ian, and all clearly were carefully thought through to maximize warmth and gentle urgency. Fortunately, Ian's quintet is of the same mind... I can't stop playing this CD. - Marc Myers, Jazzwax.com
Carey's self-deprecation in his liner notes would have you believe that he's not much of a trumpet player. It depends on what you mean by playing. True, there's not a double high C anywhere on the album and no jet-speed series of gee-whiz chord inversions. Let's settle for good tone, lyricism and contiguous ideas that lead somewhere. Carey and his young sidemen are in tune with one another, in every sense. In Adam Shulman he has a pianist who understands Bill Evans and in Evan Francis an alto saxophonist to keep an ear on. - Doug Ramsey, Rifftides
Getting his inspiration from the source, [Carey] plays with a real feel and understanding of what it's all about. A trumpeter that knows how to give the rest of his ensemble some, he's one of those cats you don't really know that can load the deck with originals and not scare you away. Certainly a welcoming release, he shows he has everything it takes to go the distance and delight us all the way... this is clearly the real deal. - Midwest Record, 2/8/10
The album title speaks to some broader point about how Carey wants to tell his own story and create his own landscape ... That's not exactly high-concept, but it definitely befits the material. Of the album's nine tunes, eight are originals, and many have a tricky format... Of course, Carey's band is the real payoff. Arkin is the consummate 'good pocket player.' Shulman and bassist Fred Randolph help solidify the rhythm section, while Francis and Carey skate through melodies overhead. They're strong enough as a unit to take a weird idea and give it shape — or context. - Rachel Swan, East Bay Express
Carey rocks on trumpet and flugelhorn, displaying a crisp technique and warm musicality. All (except for #5) are original compositions, and they showcase his sharp style and the tightness of his band, all of whom get a chance to shine through ample solos. - KZSU Zookeeper, Stanford University
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