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Terri Lyne Carrington: The Mosaic Project

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Terri Lyne Carrington occupies a frustrating niche. You’d be hard-pressed to find a “women-in-jazz” article or radio program that excludes her, yet at the same time her undeniable prowess and power as a drummer has led some to brand her “one of the guys”-as if the very notion of a female skin-pounder is somehow unnatural.

This time around, Carrington, more than two decades into her career, runs with the women-in-jazz idea and celebrates it in grand style. Her most ambitious and important album as a leader to date (her fifth in all), The Mosaic Project is populated by an all-female cast that includes some of the biggest names in jazz, among them Cassandra Wilson, Anat Cohen, Esperanza Spalding, Nona Hendryx, Sheila E., Dee Dee Bridgewater and Geri Allen. Each participant shines, from Ingrid Jensen’s trumpet and flugelhorn lines to Chia-Yin Carol Ma’s violin to the Angela Davis spoken-word commentary that leads into the stunning “Echo,” sung by Dianne Reeves and penned by Bernice Johnson Reagon of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Carrington’s percussion and kit playing is potent throughout.

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