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Regina Carter plays EFG London Jazz Festival / London Jazz News review

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Jazz violin star Regina Carter convened a suitably instrumented acoustic band to perform the songs from her latest release, Southern Comfort in which she delves into the songs of her grandparents' time in Alabama. Backed by Marvin Sewell on electric and acoustic guitars, Chris Lightcap on upright bass, Will Holshouser on accordion and the irrepressibly good-humoured drumming of Alvester Garnett, this was jazz meets Americana done to perfection.

The set was built from the very simple materials aired on the CD, some of them sampled in their most elemental form using field recordings played from Carter's iPhone. The simplicity is affecting, although just occasionally overwhelmed by long solos from guitar and accordion that these songs didn't really call for. No such problem with Carter's solos, though, which invariably tell a story that grips you to the end.

Her superb violin sound, captured beautifully on the recording, came across even more penetratingly in the QEH - a shift of venue after ticket sales made it clear the Purcell Room would be too small. And although her cohorts are all fine musicians, it was Carter who held the attention for 90 minutes plus. READ THE FULL London Jazz News REVIEW.