Terri Lyne Carrington: Jazz is a Spirit (2003)
Carrington kicks off with “Jazz Is,” a hip groove track with a forced and extraneous spoken-word bit by Cosby Show alum Malcolm-Jamal Warner. Lars Danielsson’s limping blues “Little Jump” comes as a relief. The originals have a searching, open quality, with pronounced traces of Miles and Wayne. Carrington in fact dedicates the straight-eighth ballad “Samsara” to tenor man Shorter and offers a brief, heavily disguised “Witch Hunt” later in the program. “The Corner,” moreover, begins with a melody reminiscent of “Oriental Folk Song,” then evolves into a smoldering groove in five. The hypnotic, Eastern-tinged “Journey of Now”, co-written by Carrington and Bob Hurst, follows two fragmentary cuts: first the unaccompanied drum solo “Journey Agent”, then 49 seconds of ethereal sextet music titled “Journey East from West”.
Solid originals like “Lost Star,” “Giggles,” and “Middle Way” give the album its backbone. (“Princess,” a contemplative piece co-written with Niels Lan Doky, wrongly includes Thomas among the personnel; the melody instrument sounds for all the world like Gregoire Maret on harmonica.) The penultimate track, “Mr. Jo Jones,” finds Papa Jo Jones speaking to a very young Carrington back in 1984. Then Malcolm-Jamal Warner returns, in a more restricted, sampled role, for the funk-driven title track. It’s perfectly catchy but a bit out of place, like the intro, but that hardly diminishes the impact of this forceful and well-paced record.
Track Listing: 1. Jazz Is 2. Little Jump 3. The Corner 4. Lost Star 5. Samsara (For Wayne) 6. Journey Agent 7. Journey East From West 8. Journey Of Now 9. Giggles 10. Middle Way 11. Princess 12. Witch Hunt 13. Mr. Jo Jones 14. Jazz Is A Spirit
Record Label: ACT Music