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Jazz - Released February 25, 2002 | ACT Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
In the male-dominated jazz genre, this veteran drummer has been happily accepted as one of the guys and has forged a strong touring career (Al Jarreau, David Sanborn) as she has, on her solo projects, pushed the improvisational and conceptual boundaries. This free-spirited recording emerges from the fun of bebop and traditional jazz balladry into the more challenging realm of tribal rhythms and global-mindedness -- a wacky journey to be sure, but true to her heart of wanderlust and her contention that, indeed, jazz can only be defined as a spirit. She opens with a weird, mystical ambience behind Cosby Show kid Malcolm Jamal Warner's spoken-word definition, then jams in a live setting with longtime associates like Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, and Paul Bollenback (guitar) on tunes that range from the avant-garde ("Little Jump") to the smoky and romantic ("Samsara," a thoughtful tribute to Wayne Shorter). Throwing off the shackles, she does a long tribal drum roll piece and opens the door for a "Journey East From West" with Kevin Eubanks. "Journey of Now" combines the best of all worlds, with Wallace Roney's traditional trumpet, Jeff Richman's fusion guitar edges, and an irrepressible percussive tribalism. The remaining tracks are a balance between measured craziness and gentle tradition, with a bit of advice offered to Terri Lyne Carrington as she plays before the spoken words of Papa Jo Jones on "Mr Jo Jones." Innovative yet sometimes maddening, this is above all else her truest heart. ~ Jonathan Widran
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Jazz - Released March 29, 2004 | ACT Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Standard
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Jazz - Released November 8, 2019 | Motema Music, LLC

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Jazz - Released May 29, 2015 | ACT Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Concord Jazz

Discussing The Mosaic Project, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington explained: "There's one part of me that's kind of a jazz head who likes complex, thought-provoking melodies and harmonies, and then there's another part of me that really likes funk and pop and things that are accessible." Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive, and Carrington balances them with exciting results on this 2011 release. The Mosaic Project has one foot in the intellect and complexity of post-bop and the other in the soulful, groove-oriented funkiness of R&B; both are important parts of the equation for Carrington, who is joined by an impressive list of guest vocalists that includes Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Nona Hendryx (of Labelle fame), Esperanza Spaulding, and Gretchen Parlato. Although The Mosaic Project has plenty of soul appeal, that doesn't mean that Carrington tones down the improvisation factor or offers note-for-note covers; interpretation, not emulation, is the rule on imaginative versions of the Beatles' "My Michelle," Hendryx's "Transformation," and Al Green's "Simply Beautiful," all of which Carrington successfully pulls into the jazz realm. Those who are familiar with Hendryx's original 1983 recording of "Transformation" (which combined funk and new wave) will be surprised to hear how well the song works as post-bop on Carrington's very different version (which also features Hendryx). Meanwhile, Parlato is featured on an R&B-ish interpretation of Irving Berlin's "I Got Lost in His Arms," and Spaulding has a delightfully capricious spot on her own "Crayola." The Mosaic Project also contains several Carrington originals, one of which is "Magic and Music" (a poignant tribute to soul icon Teena Marie, who was only 54 when she died unexpectedly on December 26, 2010). "Magic and Music" never mentions the Ivory Queen of Soul by name, but Marie's fans will have no problem figuring out that it is about her (for one thing, Carrington's lyrics describe the singer as "wild and peaceful", which was the title of Marie's Rick James-produced debut album of 1979). The Mosaic Project is not recommended to jazz purists, but for those who like their jazz laced with big doses of R&B, there is much to savor on this risk-taking album. ~ Alex Henderson
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2015 | Concord Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2015 | Concord Records

When powerhouse drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington launched her Mosaic Project back in 2011, her motivation was to celebrate "the artistry of many women I had worked with and felt a sisterly bond with, women that were close friends and musical partners." Her cast included a star-studded host of players and singers such as Anat Cohen, Patrice Rushen, Sheila E., Esperanza Spalding, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Carmen Lundy, Cassandra Wilson, and Dianne Reeves. Love and Soul features appearances by many of the original players as well as new ones, including bassists Linda Oh and Meshell Ndegeocello, violinist Regina Carter, and completely different singers. "I'm a Fool to Want You" was co-written by Frank Sinatra and is just as closely associated with Billie Holiday (both had centennial birthdays in 2015). Here it is completely reimagined as a slippery, summery pop-soul song rendered beautifully by Chaka Khan. Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday" is given a cosmic soul treatment with a triple-timed funky drum-and-bass attack with sparkling, spacy Rhodes and wah-wah guitars. Natalie Cole emerges from the wash with its melody intact. Ashford & Simpson's classic "Somebody Told a Lie" is fronted by Valerie Simpson herself, in a chart that melds woodwinds, strings, a melodic bassline, and laid-back breakbeats. But classics aside, Carrington's tunes are some of the best on the set. "Imagine This" is framed inside a futurist treatment (think of the Foreign Exchange or Sa-Ra collectives) set apart by a chart that makes deliberate room for Nancy Wilson's iconic, classy style. "This Too Will Pass" weaves together pop, Isley Brothers-styled soul, and rock with Lalah Hathaway guiding the band with a smoky, throaty contralto. The sexy "Get to Know You"'s vocal showcase is Ledisi at her best. Ndegeocello's bassline is an expressive tonal counterpoint to the singer and an elastic companion for Carrington's drums. Rushen's "When I Found You" is the closer. It features the composer on Rhodes, Carter's violin, and a horn section backing Lizz Wright's lead. She digs into the lyric and then improvises with piano, guitar, and trumpet as the drummer pushes the ensemble to the creative edge. Mosaic Project fans will appreciate Love and Soul's exceptionally sophisticated take on R&B. Fans of Robert Glasper and José James should take note, too. Carrington has proven on all of her outings that she knows exactly what she wants and how to get it -- from any group of musicians. This one is no exception. ~ Thom Jurek
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Classical - Released August 21, 2019 | Motema Music, LLC

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Classical - Released October 23, 2019 | Motema Music, LLC

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2015 | Concord Records

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Classical - Released September 12, 2019 | Motema Music, LLC

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Classical - Released October 2, 2019 | Motema Music, LLC

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Jazz - Released June 14, 2005 | Alma Records

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Jazz - Released May 19, 2009 | eOne Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1989 | Verve Reissues