Dynamic, magnificent and truly outstanding are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the Regina Carter Quintet. They recently performed at the Herbst Theatre as part of the San Francisco Performances series. I was first introduced to her music in 1994 when Regina was with the Detroit all-female band Straight Ahead. Early on, I noticed her outstanding musicianship and knew she was definitely a leader. Regina infuses her Detroit roots and her classical training into her jazz violin. She opens the instrument up and soars effortlessly through her music. One moment she was working out an intricate jazz piece and next she was playing a percussion instrument. She even sang melodic vocals and rhythmic chants into the small microphone on her violin as she held you under her spell. Regina played songs from her recent Verve releases, Motor City Moments and Freefall with pianist Kenny Barron. She also played from an upcoming spring release tentatively entitled "The Paganini Project" for the legendary Paganini violin used for the project. Equally equipped for the musical journey was her quintet with Werner Gierig on piano, Chris Lightcap on bass, Alvester Garnett on drums and Mayra Casales on percussion, who could make any sound imaginable. They clothed Regina's notes in fine silks of rhythm and beautiful garments of sound. Together they could take you from the rhythms of an African village to the quiet passion of an Amazon rainforest and then back to a sultry, dimly lit jazz club.