Saturday, November 09, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Welcome back, Carter

Today, let's look at some videos of violinist Regina Carter, who's coming back to St. Louis to perform Wednesday, November 20 through Saturday, November 23 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Carter was last seen in these parts in October, 2010 at the Bistro, touring in support of her then-new album Reverse Thread, which included compositions by musicians from Kenya, Mali, and Senegal. You can see video of that project, and get more background on Carter, in this post that ran here on StLJN before that engagement.

Since then, Carter has not issued any new recordings, but has kept busy with live dates; serving as a resident artistic director for SFJAZZ in San Francisco; and working on a new project, Southern Comfort. That group has been described in promotional material as "a transition from the exploration of her African ancestry to her family history. Trading the West African kora for a slide guitar, she has collected songs redolent of her father’s roots in Alabama for a celebration of the joyous music that infused her early childhood."

Carter has done live dates this year with Southern Comfort, and recorded with the band back in the spring for an album set for release in March 2014 as part of her just-inked deal with Sony Masterworks. But while those gigs and Reverse Thread both had her working with specifically configured bands, this fall Carter also is doing some dates with a more standard piano-bass-drums quartet, which, we are given to understand, is the group that will be appearing with her in St. Louis.

You can see one version of that band, featuring Xavier Davis on piano, Gayelynn McKinney on drums, and Jesse Murphy on bass, performing in the first video clip up above, which was recorded last month at a gig at Jamboree Jazz in Barcelona, Spain.

Down below, you can see a couple of samples of the Reverse Thread group (in addition to the ones previously featured here) - a music video version of "Artistya," and a take of "N'teri" recorded in 2011 at KPLU radio in Seattle.

Below that, there's a more vintage clip demonstrating Carter's take on a swinging standard. This version of "I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me" was recorded in 2003 at the Bern Jazz Festival by Carter with the George Wein Newport All Stars, featuring Wein on piano, Rodney Jones (guitar), James King (bass) and Alvin Queen (drums).

Video number five is from a 2006 appearance on the program Aqui Y Ajazz, and shows Carter getting funky with an instrumental rendition of the Chaka Khan hit "Ain't Nobody." She's accompanied by Vana Gierig (piano), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Jeff Haynes (percussion, vocals), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums), and two singers (unidentified on the YouTube post).

Last but not least, we've got a short video of Carter produced by the violin maker RS Berkeley, for which she is an endorser, that shows her talking about her violin line, introduced in 2010; her preferences in instruments; and how to choose a violin.

For more about Regina Carter, check out the interview she did last month with the Oakland County (MI) Prosper, and this radio interview, also from last month, with Michigan public radio station WMUK, in which she discusses her recent interest in music therapy.

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