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Reverse Thread

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of the most beloved artists of her generation, preeminent violinist Regina Carter has achieved another landmark in a creative history that has yielded both artistic and commercial triumphs. Her newest release, Reverse Thread, starts with exquisite traditional African music and infuses it with contemporary jazz and Afropop energy. The results are uplifting, stirring, and joyful. Regina's Reverse Thread Band adds virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko on kora - the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers--to her longstanding rhythm section. Sissoko's beautiful instrumental voicings were brought into the mix to help recreate the spirit of passing stories from generation to generation. The collaboration--unlike anything previously heard--is a haunting and beautiful compliment to Regina's sumptuously seductive violin. Through her best-selling, Grammy-nominated albums, incessant touring and various guest appearances and collaborations, Regina has developed into a distinctly diverse musical personality. She has repeatedly toured throughout the world, and was the first jazz artist and African American to play Niccolo Paganini's famed Guarneri "Cannon" violin. She has been featured with several symphony orchestras and performed with pop artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, and Mary J. Blige. With Reverse Thread, Regina takes another giant step forward. In an era of cookie cutter jazz albums that do little to excite the imagination of music lovers, it's a brilliant, colorful, and lively exploration whose seductive charms are infallible.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: E1 Music
  • ASIN: B003BZXHYC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,184 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Williams on May 22, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Overview:
This is hands down my favorite Regina Carter CD ... ever. On this CD Regina weaves a tapestry of world music, inspired primarily by African music, but also by tango. Two of my favorite non-traditional jazz instruments, the accordion and kora are featured on this album. I wouldn't have thought they could work together, but amazingly they do. The violin actually forms the perfect bridge between the two. If you are not familiar with the kora it is a 21 string African harp. The kora player can play a bass line, melody, and solo all at the same time on it. Regina has assembled an all star case of musicians on this album they are:

Regina Carter - violin
Yacouba Sissoko - kora (tracks 2,3,6,7,11)
Will Holshouser - accordion (1,7,8,10,11,12)
Gary Vesace - accordion (2,3,4,5,9)
Adam Rogers - guitar (1,5,8,10)
Mamadou Ba - electric bass (2,3,9)
Chris Lightcap - accoustic bass (1,4,5,7,8,10,11,12)
Alvester Garnett - drums, percussion

The CD also features songs by legendary African musicians, including songs by Ayub Ogada, Bassekou Kouyate, and Boubacar Traore.

Song Highlights:

Kothbiro - Many people will recognize this Ayub Ogada song as the theme song for the recent movie "The Constant Gardner". While tragically sad, the tune is so pretty and one of my favorite songs by African World artists. This rendition isn't quite as powerful as the version by Kenny Werner, Chris Potter, and Dave Douglas, on Werner's Lawn Chair Society, but it comes very close. Sissoko opens the tune with a kora solo, and plays brilliantly throughout. Carter plays the sad melody to perfection.

N'Teri - This track written by Habib Koite is beautiful sad song. It is similar in style to Kothbiro.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're like me, the short audio excerpts that often accompany an Amazon musical offering (not available here) seldom give you a good idea of what the product is really like, so reviews by owners of a particular disc can be the most valuable critique you'll get.

Regina Carter is an extremely skillful violinist. On 'Reverse Thread' she's gathered a very unusual group of instrumentalists, who give the overall sound a very original character. Although they may be virtuosos in their own right, they mostly perform as accompanist's here.

The sound is overall light and pleasant, but never in a trite way: this group of recordings certainly bear continual replaying, revealing a complexity perhaps not apparent on the first listening. As an astute reviewer has previously written here, think mainly 'African', with 'Tango' on at least one track.

It's so refreshing to finally have a few musicians coming out of the 'jazz' tradition (Regina and Bill Frissell) who are willing to stretch the envelope instead of trying to top the masters of yesterday (think Wynton Marsalis).
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Format: Audio CD
For those who seek a blend of joyfulness and beauty--this album is a must!

The performances are both buoyant and sublime, and I am moved to provide a few words here as this album is such a rare treasure.

As it regards album specifics, I refer you to the earlier review by Scott Williams "SneakyNeighborsDog," which contains an impressively detailed overview.

Enjoy!!!!
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Format: Audio CD
I had no idea what to expect going to see Regina Carter and ensemble perform at the Santa Fe Jazz Festival this past week. I was simply overjoyed that she would appear during my visit to the high desert.
Knowing her past, more traditional works did not prepare me for the wondrous sounds of her new quintet. There is usually the shock of the new that holds back my emotions when a familiar artist enters new territory but not this time.
Perhaps it was the sheer joy that all five members of this virtuosic ensemble shared at the sounds they were making. Whatever the reason, the audience was alight and might have stayed all night had Ms. Cartrr obliged with even more encores.
The unique combination of koura, accordion and violin, backed by incredible percussion and base are near indescribable...but luckily one has the opportunity to discover the sound through this remarkable album.
Kudos and more kudos. May Regina Carter continue to grow as an artist and share with us the wonderful sounds she makes along the way.
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Ms. Carter is an alumna of the institution where I teach, and we are immensely proud of her. That said, every star of this review is earned. On her album "I'll be seeing you," she gave us a lovely sentimental journey into the music of her mother's generation, and now she's followed the music of her ancestors back to their homeland, with a brilliant series of jazz improvisations on traditional African songs. Her ensemble this time also includes Yacouba Sissoko, a virtuoso on the kora, which is a harp-like instrument, but with a rounded sounding box rather like an oud. The kora is absolutely beautiful, both visually and musically, and has been since about 2000 B.C., when it appeared on ancient Egyptian wall paintings! Speaking of which, although her recordings are delightful, there's no substitute for seeing Ms. Carter and her ensembles perform live, so if you get a chance to go to one of her concerts, grab it.
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