A Street Poem...
Jazz is a Spirit
is a hip, high profile offering by drummer/percussionist Terri Lyne Carrington. Carrington fingers the best jazz talent performing today for inclusion on her current rumination. This talent includes the young lions Wallace Roney and Terence Blanchard (who both breathe the spirit of Miles), mainstream icons Kevin Eubanks and Gary Thomas, as well as the established old guard, could it be? Herbie Hancock? This is Carrington’s first date as a leader since 1989’s Real Life Stories
. For the past 12 years she has devoted her attentions to those of a sideman, supporting the likes of Herbie Hancock, David Benoit, Paul Bollenbeck, Mulgrew Miller, and this list truly goes on and on.
Carrington returns to leadership with a collection of jazz poem, ethereal and passionate. This is sound track and soundscape music, some brooding, some angry, some exuberant. The alpha and omega of the disc are two related spoken word pieces that have Malcolm-Jamal Warner reciting the freedom in jazz. All of the artists showed up to play. Hancock is playful in sideways form providing serpentine piano lines on "Little Jump." Wallace Roney and Terence Blanchard both play with a beautiful Miles tone that in no way interferes with each trumpeter’s individuality. The guitarists offer provocative support without being obtrusive. Ms. Carrington, for her part, is a great rhythm master, equal parts intellectual Max Roach and physical Art Blakey, all filtered through the 1990s.