TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON, MOSAIC


Drummer, producer and vocalist Terri Lyne Carrington has been on the scene for more than two decades and her previous recordings (her “Real Life Story” series) were an ambitious blend of R&B and smooth jazz with feel-good, sometimes socially conscious vocals, and while they were true at their core, their overt eclecticism lessened their overall impact.

Carrington gets it right on “The Mosaic Project” (Concord Jazz.) The album is an outstanding achievement notable for its all-female cast of musicians and a stunning mix of originals and covers. As a leader, Carrington’s beats are supple and powerful and always in-the-pocket. She rocks a new rendition of the 80’s club hit “Transformation,” performed by Nona Hendryx and gives a lift to the hauntingly beautiful “Echo,” with a spoken word intro by activist Angela Davis and lyrics sung by the golden voiced Dianne Reeves. As an album of many delights, you’ll likely reach for the credit list as often as I did to identify terrific work by pianists Patrice Rushen and Helen Sung along with singers Dee Dee Bridgewater and Carmen Lundy. Particularly good is pianist Geri Allen’s original, “Unconditional Love,” with blissful wordless vocalizations by bassist Esperanza Spalding, as well as the clear as a bell tone of trumpeter Ingrid Jensen on “Michelle” and Anat Cohen’s bass clarinet on “Wistful.” There’s also Al Green’s “Simply Beautiful” sung by Cassandra Wilson, Gretchen Parlato on Irving Berlin’s “I Got Lost In His Arms” and a worthy empowerment rap, “Sisters On The Rise.”

As varied as it is, real jazz (“Insomniac”) indeed blends seamlessly with the smooth, “The Mosaic Project” flows in a remarkably cohesive fashion. Carrington does a marvelous job of keeping the music brimming with invention and when your head is not bopping to her sure-fire beats, the infectious tunes are sure to take you away on clouds of joy. (14 tracks; 71:48 minutes) 

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JAZZ IN SPACE: TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON, MOSAIC

Sunday, September 11, 2011

TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON, MOSAIC


Drummer, producer and vocalist Terri Lyne Carrington has been on the scene for more than two decades and her previous recordings (her “Real Life Story” series) were an ambitious blend of R&B and smooth jazz with feel-good, sometimes socially conscious vocals, and while they were true at their core, their overt eclecticism lessened their overall impact.

Carrington gets it right on “The Mosaic Project” (Concord Jazz.) The album is an outstanding achievement notable for its all-female cast of musicians and a stunning mix of originals and covers. As a leader, Carrington’s beats are supple and powerful and always in-the-pocket. She rocks a new rendition of the 80’s club hit “Transformation,” performed by Nona Hendryx and gives a lift to the hauntingly beautiful “Echo,” with a spoken word intro by activist Angela Davis and lyrics sung by the golden voiced Dianne Reeves. As an album of many delights, you’ll likely reach for the credit list as often as I did to identify terrific work by pianists Patrice Rushen and Helen Sung along with singers Dee Dee Bridgewater and Carmen Lundy. Particularly good is pianist Geri Allen’s original, “Unconditional Love,” with blissful wordless vocalizations by bassist Esperanza Spalding, as well as the clear as a bell tone of trumpeter Ingrid Jensen on “Michelle” and Anat Cohen’s bass clarinet on “Wistful.” There’s also Al Green’s “Simply Beautiful” sung by Cassandra Wilson, Gretchen Parlato on Irving Berlin’s “I Got Lost In His Arms” and a worthy empowerment rap, “Sisters On The Rise.”

As varied as it is, real jazz (“Insomniac”) indeed blends seamlessly with the smooth, “The Mosaic Project” flows in a remarkably cohesive fashion. Carrington does a marvelous job of keeping the music brimming with invention and when your head is not bopping to her sure-fire beats, the infectious tunes are sure to take you away on clouds of joy. (14 tracks; 71:48 minutes) 

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