This year it made perfect sense for the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival to honor pianist, composer, and educator Geri Allen, who performed at the festival numerous times and passed unexpectedly nearly two years ago at the age of 60. Even more appropriate was that the evening’s homage, MC’d by Dee Dee Bridgewater, was produced by Geri’s friend and colleague, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. A few days before the concert I asked Carrington what she missed most about her friend.
“The thing I miss most about Geri is playing with her,” she said. “Her sense of time and melodic lines were so original, and as I keep playing her music, I realize how great she really was. So happy we have so much of her music to continue to share with the world.”