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Regina Carter

Regina Carter is an NEA Jazz Master

Regina Carter combines exciting technical proficiency and improvisation with an aggressive approach to her instrument, adding multicultural influence. Her playing is melodic, yet percussive. "People are only used to hearing violin in European classical music or country music," says Carter, "and so we get stuck in this idea that this is what a violin is supposed to do. And it's such a precious instrument and such a delicate instrument... That's what people think: it's such a small, delicate little thing. Even sometimes I play with classical players in a quartet and part of the piece might call to use the back of the bow, the wood, to hit on the string to get a percussive effect or to get a different sound, and they'll say, 'I'm not going to bang on my instrument like that. This violin cost way too much money.'They don't think of it as another way of playing the instrument. They don't really want to go beyond what we think of; so even the musicians themselves sometimes are stuck into those old ways of thinking."

*"I think a lot of people look at the violin and they get a little nervous," Carter notes. "They have a stereotype of what the violin is - very high, kind of shrill-sounding with long notes, and a lot of vibrato. It doesn't have to be that at all, it can be a very fiery persuasive instrument and that's how I like to use it. I don't think of the music trying to fit the violin," she continues, "or how to make the violin work in this music. For me, it just does. I'm not playing it as a violin. Instead of being so melodic, which I can be, I tend to use the instrument in more of a rhythmic way, using vamp rhythms or a lot of syncopated rhythms, approaching it more like a horn player does. So, I don't feel that I have a lot of limitations - I feel like I can do anything."

"I followed a more non-traditional route. I initially learned by ear, then later learned to read, then learned theory. I think that kind of experience has freed my playing up a lot more, so I'm not stuck on the page. A lot of people are afraid not to have a piece of music in front of them. "I knew I wanted to play improvised music after I heard a record by violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. Ever since then, I've been dreaming of my first solo project."

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Album Review

Nate Smith: Kinfolk 2: See The Birds

Read "Kinfolk 2: See The Birds" reviewed by Mark Corroto


If there were brick & mortar establishments called record stores today, one could imagine the challenge Nate Smith's Kinfolk projects would pose for an employee trying to file his latest releases. Those familiar with the drummer's work in the bands of Chris Potter, Dave Holland, or Alex Sipiagin might place the discs in the jazz section, but then again he's worked with the jazz/pop/soul singers José James and Norah Jones and he heads up the funk/soul band The Fearless Flyers. ...

1
Album Review

Thana Alexa: ONA

Read "ONA" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi


Ci giunge con un po' di ritardo questo secondo disco della talentuosa vocalist e compositrice Thana Alexa, ma va assolutamente considerato. Anche questo, come già il debutto Ode to Heroes, è un tributo: dalle figure musicali che l'hanno influenzata siamo passati a una celebrazione del genere femminile e al ruolo—spesso sottovalutato—che svolgono nel mondo. Nata a New York da famiglia croata, Thana è tornata nell'infanzia in Croazia dov'è rimasta per completare i suoi studi. Successivamente si è ...

6
Album Review

Thana Alexa: ONA

Read "ONA" reviewed by Doug Collette


A departure from Thana Alexa's first album Ode to Heroes (Harmonia Mundi/Jazz Village, 2015), ONA is also rooted in jazz, but it showcases Alexa's use of her voice as both a lyrical and experimental instrument. Commencing immediately on the title tune, this mostly original material features arrangements in various combinations of atmospheric, electronic soundscapes and exotic instrumental textures, complementing a voice which enchants as often through its feather-light air as its full-throated tones. Co-produced with master drummer Antonio Sanchez--with whom ...

4
Album Review

Thana Alexa: ONA

Read "ONA" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Thana Alexa's voice contains a world of sound, and that is without even mentioning the globe-spanning musical trappings which surround it. Hearing her is like watching a thunderstorm or maybe a wild hawk in flight. She doesn't just sing but uses her voice as an expressive precision instrument, in much the same way all the tones and electronics here are sculpted into an unclassifiably genre-defying whole. Her rich contralto can also be honey-smooth and soothing in the (relatively) rare calm ...

1
Album Review

Regina Carter: Southern Confort

Read "Southern Confort" reviewed by Maurizio Zerbo


Alla talentuosa violinista statunitense non si può certo negare una volatile progettualità, sempre votata alla esplorazione di diverse tradizioni musicali. Il suo caleidoscopio sonoro ingloba in questo CD sia le matrici afroamericane (blues) che bianche (country, cajun, melodie folk irlandesi) per dar luogo ad un progetto a dir poco irrisolto. Piccolo capolavoro di intrigante rielaborazione della matrice blues, la seconda traccia dà lustro ad un disco deludente. Mancano in esso le componenti dionisiache del jazz, che invece cedono il passo ...

9
Album Review

Regina Carter: Southern Comfort

Read "Southern Comfort" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Violinist Regina Carter's debut for Sony Masterworks finds her knee-deep in history once again. Carter has become something of a genre-blind and stylistically-inclusive musicologist, marrying her violin, family history and more to music of various shapes and origins. She paid tribute to the dark lord of the violin on Paganini: After A Dream (Verve, 2003), explored the songs that her mother loved on I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (Verve, 2006), and bridged the gap between ...

438
Album Review

Regina Carter: Reverse Thread

Read "Reverse Thread" reviewed by Mark F. Turner


What does the award-winning, classically trained, jazz violinist Regina Carter do, after playing Niccolo Paganini's famous Guarneri “Cannon" violin in Paganini: After a Dream (Verve Music Group, 2003), or reinterpreting songs from the 1920s-1940s in I'll Be Seeing You ( Verve Music Group, 2006)? She directs her interests and passion towards African folk music in Reverse Thread, a significant work in her already diverse discography. A 2006 MacArthur Fellow, Carter took full advantage of the very generous ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Kinfolk 2: See The...

Edition Records
2021

buy

ONA

Self Produced
2020

buy

Lagos Pepper Soup

Self Produced
2020

buy

Southern Comfort

Sony Music
2014

buy

Southern Confort

Sony Music
2014

buy

Reverse Thread

E1 Records
2010

buy

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