LIVE: Regina Carter @ College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts, 2/2/19
Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
Ordinarily you would expect a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald to feature vocalists – singing her hit songs, true to her original style of singing. However, jazz violinist Regina Carter is no ordinary performer, and her Ella tribute was totally instrumental. That’s right, there was no singing at all, as Carter brought elements of classical music, T&B, gospel, country and even world music to her recent Fitzgerald tribute concert at the College of St. Rose’s Massry Center for the Arts in Albany. She even included songs from outside of the Ella Fitzgerald catalog.
She opened with the Romberg/Hammerstein composition “When I Get Too Old to Dream” and then played that old standard based on a sermon by Father Divine, “Accentuate the Positive.” She introduced the song that Ella performed at amateur night at the Apollo, Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy,” by briefly playing an old vocal recording of the song on an iPod before offering her own performance. Guitarist Marvin Sewell played a nice accompaniment and was allowed lots of solo room.
“Dedicated to You,” a ballad that I personally associate more with Johnny Hartmann and John Coltrane than Ella was beautifully played, featuring the piano of Xavier Davis and the bass of Chris Lightcap. The vocals were not missed. Husband/drummer Alvester Garrett provided interesting accompaniment with both sticks and brushes.
Other songs featured light pizzicato by Regina, her command of the violin showed why she was the first jazz violinist allowed to perform on the Guarneri violin.
Her album, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, which served as the basis of her tribute concert was released nearly two years ago, and I look forward to seeing where her artistic muse will take her next.
GO HERE to see more of Rudy Lu’s photographs of this concert…