Gardenias for Lady Day

Gardenias for Lady Day is the eighth album by saxophonist James Carter featuring tracks associated with Billie Holiday which was released on the Columbia label in 2003.[1]

Gardenias for Lady Day
Studio album by
Avatar Studios, New York City
CH 89032
ProducerYves Beauvais
James Carter chronology
Layin' in the Cut
Gardenias for Lady Day
Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge


Professional ratings
Review scores

The Allmusic review by Matt Collar says, "This is a beautiful album that revels as much in classic melody as it does in Carter's most torrid saxophone "skronk." ... Continuing to display a unique and singular vision, Carter has crafted a fittingly urbane, elegant, and unnerving album that celebrates both Holiday's haunting spirituality and earthy sexuality".[2] In JazzTimes Nate Chinen wrote, "Painstakingly but not excessively produced, it has enormous commercial potential-yet never panders or beseeches. The disc satisfies Carter's aptitude for repertory, his gift for personal interpretation, his saxophone obsession, his historical ken and even his devotion to the art of surprise. In doing so, it presents a musical vision of laserlike focus, suggesting a new threshold of maturity for Carter, whose talents and insights have always been well ahead of his years".[3] On All About Jazz Jim Santella noted, "Carter's tribute to the memory of Billie Holiday weaves lyrical melodies around his own trademark enthusiasm. His desire to build upon what our jazz ancestors laid down for us has matured. Instead of far-out creations that few could understand and that many would bicker with, the 34-year-old saxophone sensation serves up an accessible program that reaches, nevertheless, into the 21st century. Stereo saxophones and deep-throated clarinets surround themes that recall the uniqueness of Lady Day. Her deep, inner strengths, her don’t-quit attitude, and her remarkable perseverance all show up in the musical arrangements that James Carter has adopted for his debut on Columbia".[4]

Track listing

  1. "Gloria" (Don Byas) - 6:01
  2. "Sunset" (Buster Harding, Cab Calloway) - 5:24
  3. "(I Wonder) Where Our Love Has Gone" (Buddy Johnson) - 6:22
  4. "I'm in a Low Down Groove" (Roy Jacobs) - 4:39
  5. "Strange Fruit" (Lewis Allan) - 4:20
  6. "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" (Billy Strayhorn) - 5:54
  7. "Indian Summer" (Victor Herbert, Al Dubin) - 6:52
  8. "More Than You Know" (Vincent Youmans, Edward Eliscu, Billy Rose) - 6:37
  9. "Lil' Hat's Odyssey" (James Carter) - 5:55 Bonus track on CD
  10. "You're a Lucky Guy" (Saul Chaplin, Sammy Cahn) - 7:59 Bonus track on CD



  1. James Carter discography, accessed October 15, 2016
  2. Collar, Matt. Gardenias for Lady Day – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  3. Chinen, N., James Carter: Big Hat's Odyssey, JazzTimes, December 2003 - accessed October 15, 2016
  4. Santella, J., All About Jazz Review, accessed October 15, 2016
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