In 1985 the big band of the Blue Lake Summer School was preparing for a European tour, when the second tenor sax player announced he couldn't join them. His place was taken by James Carter, a 16-year-old from Detroit. In the beginning the response was sceptical, but after a while, the newbie blew away all doubt. A year later this same, youthful saxophonist went touring with Wynton Marsalis. Apart from Marsalis himself, there has been no jazz musician debuting in the past decades who has impressed so many people in the jazz world like James Carter. He has mastered almost the entire sax family and plays them in all styles without ever seeming to copy any other musician. Carter combines old-school jazz with contemporary bop and free jazz. His fabulous technique and powerful, convincing tone made his first CD On the Set sound both self-assured and original. In the mean time Carter has become one of the greatest tenor saxes of the post-Coltrane generation and he shows he is completely of this day and age on his latest album, Present Tense.