Regina Carter: Our Delight
Regina Carter (violin)
Rhythms of the Heart (Verve 314 547 177-2))
Composed by Tadd Dameron.
Recorded: New York, November 24 & 30, December 8, 1998
Rating: 95/100 (learn more)
When Regina Carter joined the String Trio of New York in 1992, she succeeded Charles Burnham, and before him Billy Bang, as the group's violinist. Bang's and Burnham's distinctive styles seemed to be most influenced by Leroy Jenkins and Ray Nance, respectively, while Carter's gorgeous tone, relaxed swing, lyricism and classically polished technique brought to mind a refreshing blend of Stuff Smith and Stéphane Grappelli. Eight years later, in duets with Kenny Barron on the CD Freefall, all of Carter's early promise would be fulfilled in a glittering series of emotionally satisfying and precisely articulated improvisations.
The seed for that memorable encounter with Barron was planted two years earlier on Carter's first session as leader for Verve, when the pianist played on four selections, including "Our Delight." Lewis Nash nearly steals the show with his crisp drum dialogue with Carter as she heartily navigates the theme. The violinist's solo has a bluesy lilt to it, as she uses a rich, penetrating vibrato to course through a variety of continually changing phrase structures, in a statement that overall never loses its airtight logic. Barron's solo glides breezily over the classy Nash's adroitly executed pulse, before Carter and trio once again do admirable justice to Tadd Dameron's familiar line.
Reviewer: Scott Albin