Detroit native Virtuoso Jazz violinist Regina Carter gave a rousing performance at Jazz Standard in New York City with her band, Marvin Swell on guitar, Will Holshouser on accordion, Chris Lightcap on bass, and Alvester Garnett on drums, playing select cuts off her latest release entitled, Southern Comfort.
Music has been an important part of Regina Carter's life from the age of 2 when she began taking piano lessons, by age 4 she was studying piano and the violin, as well as taking dance lessons. Today, she is a highly acclaimed virtuoso Jazz violinist.
We had the good fortune of catching Regina Carter's performance at Jazz Standard in New York City in August 2014. Since her debut recording as a leader in 1995, she has continually pushed the musical envelope with her talent. For her latest recording, Southern Comfort, released in February 2014, she explained to the audience that she wanted to explore her father's side of the family with music reflecting the South, taking a slight detour from Jazz. She described her heritage as 73 percent West African, 13 percent Finnish and "other stuff" and joked that perhaps for her next release she would do Finnish music.
Jazz Standard has two shows nightly, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm, and we caught her second set of the evening, which she opened with Miner's Child, the first track off the Southern Comfort release. Next in the playlist was Death Have Mercy/Breakaway arranged by Stefon Harris, a good friend of both Regina and her husband, drummer Alvester Garnett, which Carter adapted from the folklore collections of John Work III. The song opened with Will Holshouser on accordion taking the lead with a nice drum solo by Alvester and Regina tapping out the samba-like rhythm on her violin, before the full band joined in. Hickory Wind had a real country flavor featuring Marvin Swell playing one of his five guitars and featured the artistry of Regina Carter on violin.
The band continued with the rollicking Alvester Garnett song, New For New Orleans which he composed after Hurricane Katrina. Born in Richmond, Virginia, he captured the feeling of the South and New Orleans, evoking the feeling of catfish frying in the pan, hot cornbread steaming from the oven, the image of paddleboats on the river, Jackson Square, and beignets, that featured a red-hot killer drum solo with Alvester attacking the drums with incredible gusto and energy that had the audience jumping before the band joined in and segued into the traditional New Orleans theme song, When The Saints Go Marchin' In.
Regina introduced the song, See See Rider, as an earlier field recording from the rural all-girl's school in Alabama, which came before the blues version. The band closed out the evening with the Southern hymn, I'm Going Home. Although Regina grew up in Detroit, Michigan, she spent every summer in the comfort of her grandmother's home in Alabama. Her father, the youngest of 14 children, would drive the family down to Alabama each summer for a visit, and she fondly remembered waking up to the aromas of homemade biscuits and ham, going fishing with her cousins, and hearing live music in people's homes. Her latest release, Southern Comfort, is a delectable tribute to that memory.
"Jazz Standard presents an extraordinary line-up of world-class artists, warm hospitality, pitch-perfect sound, comfortable seating --- and earlier sets so you can drop in after work. From classic jazz to funk, R&B, blues, and more. Jazz standard brings you the legendary artists of today and the brightest stars of tomorrow."
Jazz Standard is open seven days a week. There are two shows nightly at 7:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm) and 9:30 pm (doors open at 8:45 pm) and an extra show at 11:30 pm (doors open at 10:45 pm) on Friday and Saturday only. Ticket prices vary by show, and there is never a minimum. Jazz Standard serves Blue Smoke's award-winning barbecue complemented by specialty cocktails, beer, and wine.
Please visit the website, www.JazzStandard.com for program information on upcoming performances. For tickets or information, please call: +1-212-576-2232.
116 East 27th Street (Between Lexington and Park Avenues)
New York, New York 10016
For upcoming Regina Carter performances, please visit the website: www.ReginaCarter.com
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