How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
In 1989, Terri Lyne Carrington moved to Los Angeles, where she took on the responsibility of house drummer for Arsenio Hall's late night television talk show. It gave her the opportunity to work with artists from different backgrounds; but it did not – as is often the case – tempt her into a watering-down of her love for great jazz. The ACT record label specializes in jazz, world music and world jazz: without boundaries. Like Carrington, the label feels that good music must come from the heart, with spirit. An artist must believe the concept. It's gotta come from within.
Her album expresses the spirit of jazz. A Wayne Shorter composition, a Lars Danielson piece, and ten originals provide the framework. There are also two superb unaccompanied drum tracks: one including the voice of "Papa" Jo Jones, not too long before he passed on. She and the band members interpret each mainstream selection with personality. Carrington's position isn't flashy or loud, routine or overbearing. Call her Ms. Taste. She colors each mood and shades every melody with textures that capture her intent. Brushes, shimmering cymbals, light sticks and thundering mallets cover the bases. Carrington's spotless technique merely assists in getting the band to work together. They do.
Gary Thomas, Paul Bollenback, Wallace Roney, Bob Hurst and Greg Kurstin share most of the session with Carrington. Their spirits soar, and her acoustic, straight-ahead session remains tasteful. It's a group effort. Solos fit together seamlessly and ensemble work predominates. Guests Terence Blanchard and Herbie Hancock make a significant impact. Put this one at the top of your "best of" list for the year. Audio samples are available at www.terrilynecarrington.com .
Jazz Is A Spirit was released February 25, 2002 in Germany and won't be available in the U.S. until September. ACT online , however, can help you find a distributor.
Track Listing: Jazz Is; Little Jump; The Corner; Lost Star; Samsara; Journey Agent; Journey East from West; Journey of Now; Giggles; Middle Way; Princess; Witch Hunt; Mr. Jo Jones; Jazz Is a Spirit.
Personnel: Terri Lyne Carrington- drums; Malcolm-Jamal Warner- spoken word, electric bass; Bob Hurst- acoustic bass; Herbie Hancock- piano; Greg Kurstin- piano, keyboard; Kevin Eubanks, Jeff Richman, Paul Bollenback, Danny Robinson- guitar; Wallace Roney, Terence Blanchard- trumpet; Gary Thomas- tenor saxophone, flute added on "The Corner," soprano saxophone on "Princess;" Katisse Buckingham- soprano saxophone on "The Corner;" Ed Barguiarena, Darryl "Munyungo" Jackson- percussion.