Drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington won a Grammy for her 2011 album, The Mosaic Project, and though its successor features fewer star guests and its idiomatic range is narrower, it’s just as elegantly constructed and dynamically performed.
Carrington crafts jazz materials with the expertise of the best arrangers, as well as being a percussionist of understated power, and this set reworks a landmark jazz session: the 1962 Money Jungle trio meeting of Duke Ellington on piano, Charles Mingus on bass, and Max Roach on drums.
The excellent Gerald Clayton and Christian McBride take the first two roles (Clayton glitters and swings with immense vivacity, and McBride awesomely reflects Mingus’s muscular thunder and melodic precision). The music embraces the title track’s rocking riffs over a repeating bass growl; raw country-guitar blues that turn electric-funky; Latin tempo-shufflers that suggest Chick Corea; and enough straight ahead piano-trio swing to please devotees of jazz orthodoxy.
Views on capitalism and feminism in quoted speech from Obama, the Clintons, Martin Luther King and others make appearances, rapper/songwriter Shea Rose updates Ellington’s music-as-woman philosophy, Lizz Wright sings some wordless blues, and reeds and brass augment the trio with rich Ellingtonesque textures.
Source: John Fordham, TheGuardian