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Regina Carter - Southern Comfort / Los Angeles Times Underrated

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Jazz violin isn't a crowded field, but Regina Carter remains a standout regardless. After exploring African music with the lauded "Reverse Thread" in 2010, Carter turns toward her roots in Americana and folk for Southern Comfort, and the results are just as arresting. Mingling swift, sawing runs with guitar and accordion, Carter delivers fresh takes on rootsy classics including "Hickory Wind," "Honky Tonkin'" and a funky, electronics-dusted "Trampin'." -Ricardo DeAratanha