Terri Lyne Carrington On Inspiration and Collaboration

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Monday February 25, 2013

From Oregon Music News

Portland Jazz Festival 2013: Q&A with Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington
By: Jeff Melton

Terri Lyne Carrington returns with the ACS trio (including pianist Geri Allen and bassist Esperanza Spalding) to Portland this weekend. As a composer and educator and repeat Grammy award winner for her album, Mosaic, she has made a name for herself with the help of top jazz masters including Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz and Cassandra Wilson. Her latest recording, Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue, a Duke Ellington re-interpretation based on his album of the same name, was released this month with bassist Christian McBride and pianist Gerald Clayton (as well as Spalding) as key members of the project. ACS plays this Sunday night, February 24 at the Newmark Theater. The show is sold out.

How did you meet Esperanza? What was the first session that you played with her? Can you tell us about the session work you did with her on Radio Music Society? Is there natural rhythmic chemistry between the two of you?

I met Esperanza at Berklee College of Music when the president of the school invited me to his house for dinner when I first started teaching there. He invited her as well. We played for the first time in 2006 at Berklee for a show along with Seamus Blake and Adam Rogers.

Then she came with me to Israel to the Red Sea Jazz Festival along with Geri Allen and that was the seed for the Mosaic project. We have had just a great working relationship ever since then. She called me to do Chamber Music Society and then again on Radio Music Society. You know, I’ve always loved to play straight ahead jazz as much as more funkier stuff so I was just happy to be able to do both kinds of projects with her. She is interested in both sides as well that’s why we connect on that level. And yes there is a natural rhythmic chemistry between us. I think we agree where the beat should be most of the time and also what’s hip and how to break up the time; how to be loose and when to groove more. You have to be like-minded with somebody for it to be a natural connection; for it to sound organic and not forced.

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