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Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes

Discover the life and music of jazz luminary Ron Carter, the most recorded bassist in history. Filmed over the course of six years, Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes invites viewers to meet the gentleman behind the bass. Best known as the rhythmic force in Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet, Carter has since amassed more than 2,500 musical credits over a prolific six-decade career. His unmistakable melodies and timbre accompany the likes of Chet Baker, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Paul Simon, and A Tribe Called Quest. Carter approaches every challenge with immovable grace and dedication, even in the face of discrimination and great personal loss. The film reflects on his early rejection as a Black musician in the white classical canon and how that experience shaped his career. “No one is gonna tell me what I cannot do,” he states in the film. “They may tell me I can’t work there. They may tell me I can’t go in their front door. But they’re not telling me what I can’t do.” Carter’s adaptability contributed to the breadth of his innovation. He revolutionized the bass’s role in modern music and set an example for Black musicians across all genres. In a rare private moment, Carter shared, “As offensive as being called a colored boy is, there have been times when I have been glad to be called that. I played Carnegie Hall. And I got to Carnegie Hall being a colored boy. I can live with that.” Featuring original concert footage and candid interviews with jazz legends such as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, Stanley Clarke, and newcomer Jon Batiste, Finding the Right Notes is a vibrant portrait of one of America”s great musical trailblazers. “He’s creating his legacy every day. I think he’s been doing that for a long time. Every bass player today, whether they know it, like it, or whatever, when you play jazz bass, there’s a bit of Ron Carter in everyone.” – Stanley Clarke, bassist “Playing with Ron, that was one of the dreams I had. I mean everybody knew he would be the next guy in line to be the top jazz bass player.” – Herbie Hancock, pianist “The beautiful thing about jazz and maybe about all music is that it lends to individuality. You can identify Ron if you hear some music for a few moments, you can listen: ‘oh yeah, that’s Ron Carter.’” – Sonny Rollins, saxophonist From seven-time Emmy Award-winning director Peter Schnall, “Through six extraordinary years of filming and traveling together, Ron never ceased to amaze me with his warmth and grace. This project pulled me into a world I knew very little about – yet who better to journey with through that world than one of the great gentlemen of jazz? Everyone has heard sir Ron’s music, now they can finally hear his story.”
DIRECTOR(S): Peter Schnall



PREMIERE STATUS: Massachusetts
YEAR: 2022
RUN TIME: 113 Minutes