Regina Carter: Southern Comfort

Album review
Regina Carter: Southern Comfort

Regina Carter

Southern Comfort

Label: Sony
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz
Ratings:
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Carter goes to a profoundly deep place on this concept recording, which will surprise those who only know her as the swinging jazz violinist from Detroit. A collection of eleven folk tunes from Alabama and Appalachia, this rich throwback outing evokes Alan Lomax’s Library of Congress field recordings while also putting a modernist twist on those rootsy numbers. The opener, “Miner’s Daughter,” sets the tone for this “echoes from another era” project. A traditional Appalachian song, it carries a strong African undercurrent courtesy of Chris Lightcap’s gimbri-styled bass ostinato and drummer Alvester Garnett’s bare hands on the kit approach. “Trampin’,” an Afro-beat-meets-James-Brown number, has Carter improvising playfully over the insinuating groove. Her interpretation of Gram Parson’s “Hickory Wind” is relaxed and sweet as Southern tea and she makes her vocal debut on the sprightly Appalachian folk tune “Shoo-Rye,” spurred on by Will Holshauser’s accordion, Lightcap’s bass, and Garnett’s interactive and decidedly jazzy drumming. Elsewhere Carter delves into a western Louisiana party vibe on the Cajun dance song “Blues De Basile,” puts her stamp on Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonkin’,” and turns in a raucous, rock-fueled rendition of the gospel number “I Moaned and I Moaned.” This genre-hopping project is her most rewarding journey to date. 

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Contributors:
  • primary artist, Regina Carter

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