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Cara Thomas (woodwinds) and Raleigh Dailey (piano and electronics) are the improvising duo Tandem, a group dedicated to exploring the ongoing dialectic between composed and improvised music. Inspired by such improvising duos as Paul Bley/Annette Peacock and John Carter/Bobby Bradford, Tandem uses classic free jazz repertoire and newly composed/improvised music to create a music based on strong personal interplay and deep listening.

The duo is currently presenting and exploring The Unheard John Carter, a program of little known and newly discovered works by the master clarinetist and composer. John Carter’s music is a striking confluence of free improvisation, extended instrumental techniques, and composition informed by European, jazz, and folk traditions. Carter found unique solutions to the integration of written and spontaneous material in his richly textured scores, and his music was a strong influence in the development of free music in Los Angeles beginning in the 1970s.

Carter’s music has been an abiding interest for Raleigh Dailey; his early research culminated in the 2007 monograph Folklore, Composition, and Free Jazz: The Life and Music of John Carter. Tandem was created in an effort to share Carter’s music and to explore its implications for contemporary music.