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Paganini: After a Dream

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Album Review

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.

Customer Reviews


To say she plays lyrically means quite little. It's kind of soft porn -- not the real thing in a jazz or classical fashion, not really creative, surprising, or inventive, but also pleasant and easy to take.

Classical + Jazz = Extraordinary Beauty

If I could only listen to one instrumental CD for the rest of my life (and the afterlife), this would be it.

I first heard this CD over sunday morning coffee with my best friend, and I owe him a lifetime supply of beans for introducing me to Regina Carter, who caresses the violin like a lover and fuses the best of best worlds into an unforgettable, rapturous musical experience.

Do a little Google search and read the backstory of how this glorious CD came to be. If you love this music as much as I do and want more, I'd recommend FREEFALL, Regina Carter's duet CD with pianist Kenny Barron.

on a rainy day or sunday morning

just that ... lovely and elegant and long gazing and fun. #1, #5, #9, #6


Born: August 6, 1966 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Violinist Regina Carter is a highly original soloist whose sophisticated technique and rich, lush tone took the jazz world by pleasant surprise when she arrived in New York from her native Detroit. 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. Add this to an extremely long list of...
Full Bio
Paganini: After a Dream, Regina Carter
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Customer Ratings