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Translating Ella Fitzgerald

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Sunday April 30, 2017

From NY Observer

The Best In Jazz
By: Ron Hart

Regina Carter, The Jazz Standard, May 18-21

2017 marks the 100th year since the birth of the mighty, mighty Ella Fitzgerald, undoubtedly the greatest vocal interpreter of jazz who ever sang into a microphone. And violinist Regina Carter has been beautifully translating her heroine’s unmistakable scatting skills for strings since she started making records 25 years ago.

With Accentuate the Positive, however, Carter helps Ella ring in a century with a full-length LP dedicated to the music Fitzgerald made so everlasting. With the help of an ensemble comprised of her longtime bassist Chris Lightcap and drummer Alvester Garnett along with Xavier Davis on keys, guitarist Martin Sewell and a slew of guests (including Roots producer Ray Angry, renowned bassist Ben Williams and fellow Detroit native, actress Miche Braden from Law & Order SVU), she breathes new life into such faves as “Crying in the Chapel,” “All My Life” and “Undecided.”

It will be interesting to see what Ella essentials she brings to the table when she celebrates the singer’s centennial with a four-night stand at the Jazz Standard, a happening she’s calling “Simply Ella.” From the sound of her magnificent tribute album, these shows will surely be simply sublime.

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