Regina Carter, Esperanza Spalding | Symphony Center | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Regina Carter, Esperanza Spalding Soundboard Recommended

When: Fri., Dec. 10, 8 p.m. 2010

After winning a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006, violinist Regina Carter headed to New York's World Music Institute to do research, and the results are all over the new self-titled album by her nimble jazz combo Reverse Thread (E1 Entertainment). The record is a jaunty exploration of African music, particularly the contemporary iterations of West African stars like Habib Koité, Amadou & Mariam, and Bassekou Kouyate; Carter and a slew of arrangers have reshaped African songs both traditional and contemporary (there are also a couple of originals), adding harmonies where there were none, incorporating rhythmic schemes that draw on funk and reggae, and placing more emphasis on melody. Carter has clearly lit a creative fire in herself with her study of African music, and Reverse Thread—which includes Malian kora player Yacouba Sissoko, accordionist Will Holshouser, drummer Alvester Garnett, and bassist Chris Lightcap—repurposes its circular grooves and hypnotizing licks deftly and imaginatively. Esperanza Spalding opens. —Peter Margasak

Price: $21-$32

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