263

Regina Carter: Paganini: After a Dream

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Regina Carter: Paganini:  After a Dream
Nicolo Paganini's ghost made the first overture when the city of Genoa, Italy—the legendary violinist's birthplace—invited the American jazz musician Regina Carter to play a concert on the master's priceless two hundred and fifty year old violin, "The Cannon"—so named for its huge sound and sonorous tone.

Ms. Carter came, she played; the concert was a brilliant success, though not without its detractors. There are some classical fans who considered it a debasement, a near sacrilege for The Cannon to be placed in the hands of a player of jazz. The Carter/Paganini fling might have ended with the one meeting but for a second overture, by Regina Carter this time. She wanted to record on The Cannon.

It took a good deal of determination and tenacity on the American violinist's part—with an assist from the mayor's office of the city of Genoa—but it was arranged. The fruit of the Paganini/Carter love affair is Paganini: After a Dream.

From the very opening notes, it is obvious that Paganini's violin is an extraordinary instrument in the gentle hands of a passionate lover. The tone is full-bodied and rich, like a dark honey laced with chocolate; and Carter, though reverent, is also playful and inventive at times.

The repertoire, in a nod of respect to the keepers of The Cannon, leans toward the classical side, with four of the tunes coming from the French Impressionist composers, Debussy, Ravel, and Faure. Another comes from Argentine tango master Astor Piazzolla, along with a tune form Carter's long time pianist Werner Gierig, and one of Regina's own compositions, an excerpt from "Alexandra."

Gierig's piano on his "Healing in Foreign Lands" is delicately gorgeous, with unfathomable depths, his lightness in perfect counterpoint to the solidity Carter draws from the strings. And "Reverie": Claude Debussy—with Regina and Quintet at the helm—swings!

Paganini: After a Dream won't appeal to those who don't go for strings in their jazz (unless they can be convinced to give it a fair listen), but it is an undeniably important and deeply beautiful set of sounds.

visit: www.vervemusicgroup.com

Track Listing

Pavane pour une defunte, Black Orpheus, Pavane, Oblivion, Reverie, Healing in Foreign Lands, Apres un reve, excerpt from Alexandra, Cinema Paradiso

Personnel

Regina Carter, violin; Werner "Vana" Gierig, piano; Chris Lightcap, bass; Alvester Garnett, drums; Mayra Casales, percussion. And Borislav Strulev, cello on 2&7; and orchestra on 1, 4, 9

Album information

Title: Paganini: After a Dream | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Love Letter
Love Letter
Jimmy Heath
Read No Base Trio
No Base Trio
Jonathan Suazo / Gabriel Vicens / Leonardo Osuna
Read A Tribute to Alvin Fielder - Live at Vision Festival XXIV
A Tribute to Alvin Fielder - Live at Vision Festival XXIV
Edward 'Kidd' Jordan, Joel Futterman, William Parker, Hamid Drake

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.