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Terri Lyne Carrington: new STANDARDS vol. 1 (Candid)

A review of the drummer's first in a promised series covering 101 women composers

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Terri Lyne Carrington: new STANDARDS vol. 1 (Candid)
The cover of new STANDARDS vol. 1 by Terri Lyne Carrington

Drummer extraordinaire Terri Lyne Carrington’s new multimedia project, New Standards, is getting as much press coverage as one could hope for regarding a jazz offering in 2022. Everyone from NPR to The New York Times has praised Carrington’s efforts to broaden male-dominated sheet-music repertoire by including women composers. But with that came a risk: that the mere existence of a book called New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers would attract more interest than its contents.

Which brings us to new STANDARDS vol. 1, the first in a promised series covering all 101 composers. Do the compositions and performances therein live up to the hype? Absolutely.

Carrington is flanked by a core group of pianist Kris Davis, bassist Linda May Han Oh, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and guitarist Matthew Stevens, with high-profile guests from Ambrose Akinmusire to Samara Joy popping up throughout. The composers represented include Carla Bley, Abbey Lincoln, Brandee Younger, and Marta Sanchez. But aside from name recognition, the most crucial element here is that the compositions are fantastic. Sara Cassey’s lovely opener “Wind Flower” dips, sparkles, and sways. Patricia Zárate-Pérez’s “Continental Cliff” is pensive and philosophical. Bley’s “Two Hearts (Lawns)” is an emotional apogee, with rising star Joy nodding to the lineage of women geniuses with a rich and evocative vocal performance.

If this were the only edition, it would more than hold up on its own due to the caliber of talent and source material. A quick calculation—101 divided by 11 tracks—would imply that we’ll conclude with nine recorded volumes of tunes by staggeringly talented women. But based just on the strength of this first one, you’ll never look at your fakebook the same way again.

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Learn more about new STANDARDS vol. 1 at Amazon, Apple Music, and Walmart

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Morgan Enos

Morgan Enos is a music journalist primarily focused on jazz and classic rock — while increasingly plumbing the outer reaches of classical, pop, hip-hop, metal, and more with each passing year. By day, he works as the Staff Writer at GRAMMY.com, an editorial site run by the Recording Academy; by night, he freelances for a number of publications, including JazzTimes. He lives in Hackensack, New Jersey with his wife and two cats. Learn more at morganenos.com.