Paganini: After a Dream

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Will Meyerhofer
After establishing herself as an original new voice on the jazz violin, Regina Carter enters the classical crossover/smooth jazz market playing Paganini’s own violin on this ambitious disc, which features a mixture of Impressionism’s greatest hits and bossa nova favorites. The arrangements feature silvery strings, swishing harps, tinkling triangles, and breathy vocalizings, but Carter’s luminous tone on the master’s instrument cuts through the drapery. The best moments come when she gets a chance, as in Debussy’s “Reverie” or the Fauré “Pavane,” to improvise and even swing a little with her quintet. The bossa nova selections -- the “Cinema Paradiso” theme by Ennio ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Will Meyerhofer
After establishing herself as an original new voice on the jazz violin, Regina Carter enters the classical crossover/smooth jazz market playing Paganini’s own violin on this ambitious disc, which features a mixture of Impressionism’s greatest hits and bossa nova favorites. The arrangements feature silvery strings, swishing harps, tinkling triangles, and breathy vocalizings, but Carter’s luminous tone on the master’s instrument cuts through the drapery. The best moments come when she gets a chance, as in Debussy’s “Reverie” or the Fauré “Pavane,” to improvise and even swing a little with her quintet. The bossa nova selections -- the “Cinema Paradiso” theme by Ennio Morricone, and the catchy “Black Orpheus (Manha de Carnaval)” by Luiz Bonfa -- have an authentic lilt and wouldn’t seem out of place on a terrace overlooking the Copacabana. The overall mood of this disc is lush, unabashed romanticism, and like an ostentatious dessert, some might find it too rich for their taste. Others will savor the indulgence.
All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
It would be a definite exaggeration to say that jazz and classical have become joined at the hip the way that rap and urban contemporary have become joined at the hip, but it is safe to say that the jazz and classical worlds are crossing paths a lot these days. Many of today's jazz musicians are classically trained, and concert halls that are classical-friendly are often jazz-friendly especially in Europe. Paganini: After a Dream is among the many instrumental projects that finds a jazz artist acknowledging the Euro-classical tradition, which isn't to say this is a classical album per se. Essentially, Paganini: After a Dream is post-bop, although it's post-bop with a strong Euro-classical influence and, at times, some Latin influences as well including Argentinean tango, Brazilian samba, and the Cuban bolero tradition. This CD wasn't designed with musical purists in mind -- Paganini: After a Dream isn't for jazz purists any more than it is for classical purists or Latin purists. But the more broad-minded listeners will appreciate the fact that violinist Regina Carter plays quite lyrically throughout the album whether she is turning her attention to Maurice Ravel's "Pavane Pour une Infante Défunte" and Claude Debussy's "Rêverie" or Luiz Bonfá's "Manha de Carnaval" and Argentinean tango innovator Astor Piazzolla's "Oblivion." The people who join Carter on this disc include, among others, conductor Ettore Stratta who serves as co-producer and cellist Borislav Strulev -- and thankfully, Carter manages to provide an album that is extremely lush without being elevator muzak. Because the material is heavily arranged, she doesn't have as much room to improvise. But the violinist does have enough solo space to get her points across, and even though Paganini: After a Dream isn't her most essential release, it is a tasteful, pleasing addition to Carter's catalog.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2003
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 044006555423
  • Catalog Number: 065554
  • Sales rank: 43,180

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Regina Carter Primary Artist, Violin, Vocals
Ettore Stratta Conductor
Belinda Whitney-Barratt Violin
Jeff Carney Bass
Mayra Casales Percussion, Vocals
Robert Chausow Violin
Joyce Hammann Violin, Concert Master
Susan Jolles Harp
Karen Milne Violin
Carol Pool Violin
Laura Seaton Violin
Dorothy Lawson Cello
Debra Shufelt Viola
Maxine Roach Viola
Mary Whitaker Violin
Yuri Vodovoz Violin
Katherine LiVolsi Stern Violin
Belinda Whitney Violin
Alvester Garnett Drums, Vocals
Ralph Farris Viola
Chris Lightcap Bass
Borislav Strulev Cello
Natalie Cenovia Cummins Violin
Mary L. Rowell Violin
Katherine Livolsi-Stern Violin
Alexander Garnett Drums, Vocals
Werner "Vana" Gierig Piano
Technical Credits
Gabriel Fauré Composer
Maurice Ravel Composer
Luiz Bonfá Composer
Astor Piazzolla Composer
Ettore Stratta Producer
Jorge Calandrelli Arranger, Orchestration
Greg Calbi Mastering
Regina Carter Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes
Claude Debussy Composer
Joe Ferla Engineer, Engineering
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Ennio Morricone Composer
Michele Taylor Executive Producer
Pat Philips Producer
Hollis King Art Direction
Myles Weinstein Booking
Michelle Taylor Producer
Andrea Liberovici Producer, Executive Producer, Project Concept
Michelle Taylor Executive Producer
Werner "Vana" Gierig Arranger, Composer, Producer, Executive Producer, Musical Director, Artistic Director
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Much more than 'smooth jazz'

    Smooth jazz tends to fade into the background...this album most definitely does not. I haven't been a fan of Regina Carter but on the strength of this album I think I'll be checking out more of her work. The depth of expression and mastery of her instrument combines with wonderful arrangements to create subtle layers of mood and flavor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Paganini AFter A Dream

    This is beautiful music by an extraordinary jazz violinist. Outstanding!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Utterly Ineffable!

    I heared only the intro of a song playing at the beginning of a popular television series. I was smitten and determined to find out what it could be. Once I was made aware of this cd and listened to the songs, I had to purchase it. Anyone who is an avid lover of classical music and/or jazz should not miss this...You won't be sorry. It would truly be a travesty if you did!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not One of My Favorites

    I've heard better smooth jazz. If you're one that likes violins and other stringed instruments, this is your album, if not don't buy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beyond category.

    In it's bare essence this is a record of ballads with strings but unlike so many other of these types of records it has a clearly defined concept from beginning to end. Will Meyerhofer's comments about this record as being a "classical crossover/smooth jazz" CD are wide of the mark. Classical crossover? In some ways, yes, but this is definitely not sugar coated with the blandness and sameness that has plagued a great many “here today and gone tomorrow” smooth jazz records of late. Forget categories and just listen. This recording is beyond category as we know it today, and just might usher in a new day for great music. If one were to categorize it, the easiest title applied here would be simply "ballads". If you enjoy beautiful music in a romantic setting (or music that creates that romantic setting) then this record is meant for you. Don't fall into any preconceived notions of ballads as simply being “light” music though, for on this recording Ms. Carter can be heard playing with all the passion and intensity that cries romance and the love of life and one's art while at the same time sharing it with all those who will be blessed to listen. While romance is the word here one mustn’t forget it can lead to both joy and pain and Ms. Carter effectively portrays all of these emotions through her violin with a extraordinarily well conceived set of arrangements highlighting French Impressionist composers and even an excerpt from an original commissioned piece of her own. Throughout this CD we hear a subtle, quiet fire and intensity that does not require all the rock-em, sock-em pyrotechnics that less mature improvisers fall back on. I'd rank it right up there with Bird with Strings, Clifford Brown with Strings and Shirley Horn's "Here's To Life". Regina will break your heart and mend it back again and again on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Universally Wonderful

    I'm not really into Jazz, but I heard Regina Carter play at the New Orleans Heritage and Jazz Fest and all I could think was "wow!" She really left me breathless and I just knew I had to go out to buy her c.d. It's perfect for any situation whether I need to calm down in my car during rush hour or wind down in a hot bath, whether I want something to set the mood for a dinner for two or background for a dinner party. The music on this c.d. is really inspirational. I'm a writer and I could just sit down and write poetry to this music for days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A wonderful event turned into a wonderful recording

    Getting Paganini's violin in Carter's hand was a very fortunate thing. The first time was for a concert at the end of 2001. The second time was for the recording of this fine CD. This is a marvelous recording for several reasons. Not the least of which is the playing of a truly gifted musician. But getting to hearing this legendary instrument is also a genuine treat. As well, her choice of music makes for an interesting program. There is a genuine "classical" feel to just about everything, but Carter's quintet puts a fresh spin on everything. Claude Debussy's "Reverie" became a jazz gem long ago (Ella does a great version of it on "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!"), and it's a natural addition to Carter's set list: it's originally considered a classical piece -- so is the violin; it's been adapted to a jazz sound -- so has the violin. Her inclusion of "Manha de Carnival" (the theme for the movie "Black Orpheus") is an especial treat for me. Not only is it a particulaly bittersweet melody, but I also learned to play the guitar part from Paul Desmond's quartet arrangement when I was in high school. It turned my ear into a better instument as I listened to all the harmonic things going on. The combination of Carter's playing and Paganini's robust violin make it absolutely gorgeous. And she expands on her newfound love of composing with an excerpt from a piece written for her niece entitled "Alexadra". Incidentally, Carter is a real treat to hear in person. As with most jazz, it's even better when it's performed live. But there's a real intimacy that Carter and her quintet have and share with the audience. She won't be touring with Paganini's violin, but any evening spent in the company of her excellent quintet will be its own reward.

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