Regina Carter, Javon Jackson — featuring Jimmy Cobb — kick off Belleayre Jazz Series with shows this weekend
Highmount – The renowned Catskill Mountain Jazz Series at the Belleayre Music Festival opens with two diverse acts — the Javon Jackson Quartet, featuring drumming legend Jimmy Cobb, on Friday, July 30 and violin virtuoso Regina Carter on Saturday, July 31.
Both shows promise a superb mix of tunes that blur the lines between jazz, rock and world music. The concerts will be presented in the comfortable setting of the Belleayre Jazz Club, set up in the Overlook Lodge. The performances begin at 8 p.m.
Grammy-nominated Regina Carter is the world’s preeminent jazz violinist. She’s a highly original soloist whose sophisticated technique and rich, lush tone took the jazz world by pleasant surprise when she arrived on the scene two decades ago.
And jazz fans weren’t the only people who heard that mercurial quality in her playing: artists as diverse as Faith Evans, Elliot Sharp, and Mary J. Blige have employed her talents on their recordings, as has filmmaker Ken Burns on his soundtrack for “The Civil War.”
Regina began making her indelible mark on the music world when she recorded a duet session with Kenny Barron in 2001 that has been universally acclaimed for its lyrical qualities and stunning range of dynamics and harmonic invention.
She has since released the classical-influenced “Paganini: After a Dream” in 2003 and the American songbook album “I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey in 2006.” “Reverse Thread,” released in 2010, is her most diverse work, encompassing an entrancing blend of world music that’s difficult to categorize, but magical to experience.
When Regina made the decision to record an album primarily of African folk tunes, she created a great challenge for herself: how do you take beautiful traditional music and infuse it with a contemporary feel while remaining true to its past — and then, not compromise its beauty? Her newest release, “Reverse Thread,” brilliantly responds to the challenge.
To achieve the uplifting and stirring result, Regina added an accordion and kora—the West African harp traditionally played by village storytellers—to her longstanding rhythm section. Kora virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko was brought on board to help recreate the spirit of passing stories from generation to generation. The result—unlike anything previously heard—is a haunting and beautiful compliment to Regina’s sumptuously seductive violin.
Jackson and Cobb team up
Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson rose to international prominence as a member of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and has since fashioned his own signature sound. He will be joined at Belleayre by longtime collaborator, 81-year-old drumming legend Jimmy Cobb.
Javon has contributed his smooth jazz style on tours and records with luminaries like Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Donald Byrd and Curtis Fuller. Javon has appeared on more than 125 recordings and has developed a formidable career as a leader, recording and touring throughout the world.
Javon’s current group incorporates many styles including jazz, funk, R&B and rock — fueled by the captivating drumming exploits of Jimmy Cobb.
Jimmy, a part-time Woodstock resident, boasts one of the most impressive biographies in jazz history.
Jimmy is the elder statesman of all the incredible Miles Davis bands. Jimmy’s inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly and Co. spanned 1957 until 1963, and included the masterpiece “Kind of Blue.” the most popular jazz recording in history. He also played on “Sketches of Spain,” “Someday My Prince” and many other watermark Miles Davis recordings.
The Catskill Mountain Jazz Series is sponsored by the A. Lindsay & Olive B. O’Connor Foundation.
Jazz weekend two
The second weekend of the Catskill Mountain Jazz Series continues on August 6 with the John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet and concludes on Saturday, August 7 with Patti Austin performing her “For Ella” tribute.
Up next on the Belleayre schedule: Saturday, Aug. 14: America the 40th Anniversary Tour; Saturday, Aug. 21: ’50s Dance Party “The Day the Music Died” - The music of Buddy Holly, Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens; Saturday, Aug. 28: Belleayre Festival Opera - Rossini’s Cinderella (“La Cenerentola”); Sunday, Aug. 29; Children’s Opera Theater “Three Little Pigs” and Saturday, Sept. 4: Aaron Neville Quintet featuring Charles Neville.
Tickets for all shows in the 2010 summer concert season at the Belleayre Music Festival, are on sale via Ticketmaster. For additional information, please call 800 942-6904, ext. 1344, visit: www.belleayremusic.org or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.