1. Miles Davies – Nefertiti
This was Davis’s final all-acoustic album before he began to experiment with electric jazz, and he composed nothing at all on the album, with writing duties fulfilled by Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. Ron Carter is on fine form here, most notably on the title track, where the rhythm section improvises and vamps its way through the tune, while the horn section simply holds down the main melody. It wouldn’t be long before the staunch upright player Carter would part ways with Davis, though he did dabble in bass guitar on the follow-up, Miles In The Sky.
2. Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly
When the Fugees recorded a cover of ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’, its monster success somewhat eclipsed Flack’s original version, which features on this album. Back in 1973, though, this album, propelled by the number one success of the title track, became Flack’s best-selling effort. Carter’s deep, languid grooves are all over this classic slice of 70s soul.
3. Herbie Hancock – Speak Like A Child
Carter’s fruitful relationship with Hancock continued after their departure from Miles Davis’s quintet, and this album is in many ways the peak of their musical endeavours. Despite its simple, upbeat style, the album is deceptively deep and lyrical. It also features a Carter composition in the form of ‘First Trip’. Once again, this is Carter doing what he does best – providing a deep and solid backbone for the compositions; letting the soloists soar while he keeps things effortlessly grooving along with his iconic upright tone.