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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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The Mosaic Project




1. Transformation; 2. I got lost in his arms; 3. Michelle; 4. Magic and music; 5. Echo; 6. Simply beautiful; 7. Unconditional love; 8. Wistful; 9. Crayola; 10. Soul Talk; 11. Mosaic triad; 12. Insomniac; 13. Show me a sign; Bonus track. Sisters on the rise (A transformation).

Terri Lyne Carrington: drums, additional percussion (and voice on tracks 2,4,5,11,13,14); Geri Allen: piano, keyboards tracks 1,3,6,7,10,11,13; Dee Dee Bridgewater: voice track 10; Anat Cohen: clarinet, bass clarinet, soprano; Angela Davis: commentary track 5; Sheila E: percussion tracks 1,5,6,10; Nona Hendryx: voice tracks 1,14; Ingrid Jensen: trumpet, flugelhorn, efx; Mimi Jones: bass track 4; Carmen Lundy: voice track 13; Chia-Yin Carol Ma: violin; Hailey Niswanger: flute; Gretchen Parlato: voice tracks 2,3; Tineke Postma: alto, soprano; Dianne Reeves: voice track 5; Shea Rose: voice track 14; Patrice Rushen: piano, keyboards tracks 1,2,5,10,11; Esperanza Spalding: bass, voice track 7,9; Helen Sung: piano, keyboards tracks 2,4,5,8,9,10,12; Linda Taylor: guitars; Cassandra Wilson: voice track 8.

Rec. at Systems Two by Mike Marciano (no town or date given).

CONCORD JAZZ C/A-33016-02 [71:46]


The declared aim of what is called The Mosaic Project is to present “historical, current and appropriately feminine themes with the intent to offer an informative, enjoyable listening experience, driven by creativity and consciousness” through the medium of “some of the finest female instrumentalists and vocalists in the world” with the mosaic concept allowing “to vibrantly connect colorful pieces together”. I often get the feeling that American artists can be accused of taking themselves too seriously though that is not meant as a criticism per se of the above aims which are highly laudable. The music in any case is enjoyable and the feelings expressed are sincere and important. The collective of musicians proves, if proof were needed, how many superb female vocalists and instrumentalists there are and having the opportunity to come together to present this programme is a great idea and Terri Lyne Carrington deserves the credit for having achieved it. There is no indication that there will be more similar discs to come but I hope there are. There is a mix of original compositions here, 5 of them by Carrington, and several “standards”, and I particularly enjoyed their take on Irving Berlin’s I got lost in his arms and Paul McCartney’s Michelle with a trio of fine solos from Ingrid Jensen, Anat Cohen and Geri Allen. Echo incorporates an important political message with the state of the country and its values coming in for sharp criticism, introduced with a narration by Angela Davis, a prominent supporter of and fighter for human rights over the past 50 years with the song then taking up the rest of the message that what happens today is “an echo of the past”. Simply beautiful is just that with great backing from Terri Lyne Carrington on drums and beautifully sung but somehow the credit for the singing on this track has got missed off which, hopefully Concord Jazz will correct soon. Another track I enjoyed was Insomniac which is straight ahead jazz with some great trumpet, piano and sax playing in it. The bonus track is an unexpected rap but then the stated aim again has it that this project is also “cross genre” via jazz because “jazz has increasingly pollinated, allowing its language to metamorphose into something one group of musicians alone cannot claim”. Interesting!

Steve Arloff

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