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Terri Lyne Carrington: The Mosaic Project: A Female Tour de Force

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You wouldn’t know it from looking at the mosaic-style image of her face on the cover of this new Groove cd issued by Concord,  but this is a musical tour de force by women jazz artists and poets is a musical analogue perhaps comparable to Aristophanes’ great female power play, the war-stopping Lysistrata.

Listen to Transformation:
[audio:http://blogs.kcrw.com/rhythmplanet/audio/Transformation.mp3]

The women here may not win any war but they certainly dominate the grooves:  Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s the leader, but then just read the personnel:

  • Geri Allen, piano
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater, vcls
  • Anat Cohen  clarinets
  • Angela Davis (!) poetry and spoken word
  • Sheila E.  percussion
  • Nona Hendryx (back after a long hiatus) vcls
  • Carmen Lundy vcls
  • Gretchen Parlato (one of my favorite singers) vcls
  • Tineke Postma (Dutch alto sax player)
  • Dianne Reeves vcls
  • Patrice Rushen keys
  • Esperanza Spalding bass
  • Cassandra Wilson  vcls

All these female titans, plus other women artists maybe less known but no less deserving of our ears.  Wow I say, what a crew. They’re playing songs by Nona Hendryx, Irving Berlin, Lennon & McCartney, Al Green, and other originals.  It is a powerhouse mosaic of performances that proves once and for all that jazz music is not man’s domain, and the eloquent poetry and musical architecture reveals an elegant symmetry throughout, filled with strength and the power to move us.