The Bracken-Carson Quartet is a “cordless” quartet featuring two tenor saxophonists with bass and drums. This group features me (Joel Bracken) and Steve Carson on tenor saxophone, Christopher Parnis on Bass, and Mateo Mancuso on drums. We’ve always been fascinated by the sound of an ensemble with no chordal instruments. It allows the soloist greater harmonic freedom, creates more intimacy between the band and the audience, and allows for a greater level of interaction between the soloist and the rhythm section.

We all met at Humber College in their prestigious Bachelor of Music program. Inspired by the “cordless” ensembles of Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, and John Coltrane, we decided to add another horn. Two contrasting saxophone players both interacting with each other, and the rhythm section added an extra layer to this timeless format. Some modern examples of this format would include Walter Smith III with Joshua Redman and Chris Potter with Mark Turner.

Because of the challenges of online learning, we’ve learned to adapt and make the best of the situation by recording our music remotely. Now with some restrictions being lifted, we’ve been able to play in person, letting us workshop new arrangements and tunes!”


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