Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Terri Lyne Carrrington (Music Review) Terri Lyne Carrrington (Music Review)
Terri Lyne Carrrington (Music Review)

The resident artist of the 2019 EFG London Jazz festival drummer, singer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington brings her brand of incendiary jazz with hip hop overtones to the intimate stylish setting of Kings Place, London.


The twice Grammy-nominated artist has played with who’s who of the jazz world including stints with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, and the legendary Dianne Reeves.


The residency will arrive close on the tail of Terri’s upcoming new album ‘Waiting Game’ – which features collaborators including Rapsody, Esperanza Spalding and fellow Grammy nominee Maimouna Youssef (The Roots and Common are fans).


We witnessed the second set which featured feature guest artists from the forefront of UK’s jazz scene including saxophonist Soweto Kinch, trumpeter Emma-Jean Thackray, rapper Tru Mendous with Ayana Witter-Johnson on cello and vocals.


The set opened with ‘Engine Driver’ a horn-driven with bebop edged tune written by Soweto Kinch. With delicious Max Roach like drum accompaniment from Terri delicately overlaying the song.


Next, we were introduced to the homegrown talents of Ayana Witter-Johnson. Who opened with a bluesy spoken word song called ‘Music Is a Beautiful Woman’. Interspersing this song and most of the others of the night were the rhythmic electronic loops, scratches, and sample of black resistance chants from the creative fingers of the resident DJ Val Jeanty.


Ms. Carrington is famed for her political consciousness, activism and on-going opposition to humanitarian injustices where freedoms are restricted on the basis of someone’s sexuality, race, religion, gender or class.


It was no wonder therefore that the following song was based on a speech by African American slave turned abolitionist and women’s rights activist, Sojourner Truth.


The song begins Ayana on vocals and cello and gradually the other band members are introduced, with the smoky sax breaks of Soweto, the haunting trumpet work of Emma-Jane and some excellent bass playing all helping to create that pain and anguish that Sojourner had to endure.


The introduction of young British rapper Tru Medous signaled a change of mood and pace with the band stepping up a gear to keep up the young artist’s fast flow. The mixing and her speed made it very difficult to follow her lyrics suffice to say her opening song seemed to suggest everyone was playing a game that switched between ‘perception and deception’.


There then followed a flurry of tunes that included ‘Unjustified Killing’ a spotlight on the police brutality and the black community, the track allowing all band members to take centre stage with the smooth and melodic horn of Emma-James being most memorable.


Unconditional Love a tribute to legendary and late African American jazz pianist Gerri Allen, was a beautiful up-tempo song that featured the fast free-flowing horn of Soweto Kinch, measured and lively drumming of Terri infused with the frantic and fluid scratching and electronica from the DJ.


The set closed with an awesome wall of sound led by the spacey trumpet of Emma James, Terri’s trademark driving drums, exceptional accompaniment from the bassist and keyboard with Ayana adding delightful slices of her luscious voice all held together with frenetic electronic scratching and looping.


Terri did not fail to deliver. With her renowned brand of hard-edged social justice music. When combined with an exceptional quartet of fresh and creative British, the outcome will always as we experienced breathtakingly outstanding.


The EFG London Jazz Festival continues until 24 November. For details of other events and tickets visit: efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

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