Terri Lyne Carrington
Concord Jazz CJA-33016-02
Terri Lyne Carrington has brought together some of the top women in jazz for the female-centric Mosaic project, and the result runs the stylistic gamut from jazz/funk, to rap and whatever category Grammy-award winning Esperanza Spalding’s music fits into. (Baroque jazz?) Although the liner notes are at times unclear as to who performs on which track, what is clear is that Carrington is the guiding hand, playing drums on all the songs, switching styles effortlessly, and she wrote a handful of the tunes. Other dominant performers among the 20 or so on the disc are Geri Allen, Patrice Rushen and Helen Sung sharing the piano and keys duties. Singer Cassandra Wilson lends her mahogany tones to the aptly named Simply Beautiful, by Al Green, which also benefits from nuanced violin work from Chia-Yin Carol Ma. One of the standout tracks is the opening Transformation, written by Carole Pope and Kevan Staples, formerly of Toronto’s 80s music scene staple Rough Trade, along with Nona Hendryx, who performs the vocals. Also strong is Lennon/McCartney’s Michelle, which gets turned on its pretty head. The only thing I found a bit off was awkwardness in some of the horn and woodwind parts, which seemed largely due to the arrangements rather than the playing. But soloing from all of the horns – Ingrid Jensen, Anat Cohen and Tineke Postma - was solid.