Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

REGINA CARTER

Reverse Thread

2010-06-04

Jazz violinist extraordinaire and Detroit native Regina Carter received MacArthur Foundation funding (better known as a "genius grant") to infuse traditional music with contemporary stylings -- and still remain true to the past. It appears she put that money to good use and met her goal. "Reverse Thread" takes African and African Diaspora songs and weaves them with current jazz to come up with a unique blend that displays both global roots and modern rhythms. Kora master Yacouba Sissoko provides an earthy foundation to many of the songs. Grand Rapids jazz musician Xavier Davis arranged two pieces in this set (#1 and #10, the latter of which is a combination of an African melody and the gospel standard "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again"). On "Zerapiky" (#8), Will Holshouser's accordion almost gives the tune first a Cajun feel, then an Irish lilt; that song has the most energy in the set. The opener and the closer are based on field recordings from Ugandan Jews, a community in East Uganda that is not genetically or historically Jewish, but practice the Jewish faith. An amazing musical journey, led by one of the finest musicians -- jazz or any genre -- in the country. MJVD 06/10 J-Roots (Global Fusion)

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