The "Very Special" video is from GRAMMY® Award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington's March shows at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola/JALC. Appearing in the video with Carrington are Gerald Clayton and James Genus. The March shows feature the music of Carrington's Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue - the 50th anniversary homage to Duke Ellington's iconic 1963 Money Jungle recording. Carrington's album, which reached #1 on the Jazz Week Charts, is released on Concord Jazz in the U.S., Europe and other global markets; and, the album is on Universal Music's Somethin' Else label in Japan.
The September 1962 original recording sessions led by Duke Ellington featured bassist Charlie Mingus and drummer Max Roach.
Today, it is considered one of the pivotal jazz recordings of the 1960s; and the 1963 album release that emerged from the session, was - among other things - a commentary on the perennial tug-of-war between art and commerce. In some ways, that album's 11 tracks were intended as a sort of counterbalance to the capitalist bent of the Mad Men generation. Now, 50 years later, this precarious balance in the world of jazz - or in any art form, for that matter - hasn't changed much. Terri Lyne Carrington, with the aid of two high-profile collaborators - keyboardist Clayton and bassist Christian McBride - paid tribute to Duke, his trio and his creative vision with a cover of that historic recording.
In speaking about Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue Carrington reflects, "Duke's original recording is something that has haunted me since I first heard it about a decade ago. I had bought it on CD, from the discount bin in a music store," she recalls. "I put it on in my car, and I immediately just felt something mysterious about it. There was just an energy that moved through the tracks. Duke and Charles and Max had a chemistry about them. There was this tension that you could hear, and yet they fit together like a hand in a glove."
In preparation for the project, Carrington read up on Duke's biography. "I felt like a method actor," she says. "I just dug as deep as I could in the time that I had to get a glimpse of his perspective on things. When you start rearranging music by someone like Duke Ellington, you better feel really good about what you're doing. In the end, I felt confident that I didn't do him a disservice, because he was a very open-minded artist, and he was very much about moving forward."
Carrington considers her Money Jungle - like its predecessor - primarily a trio album, but she's not averse to some enhancement and additional textures along the way. Helping out with the rearrangements and reinterpretations is an impressive list of guest artists: trumpeter Clark Terry, trombonist Robin Eubanks, reed players Tia Fuller and Antonio Hart, guitarist Nir Felder, percussionist Arturo Stabile and vocalists Shea Rose and Lizz Wright. In a special appearance, Herbie Hancock appears in a spoken word segment as the voice of Duke Ellington.
"The music of Duke's Money Jungle may have first emerged a half-century ago, but there's nothing old about great music and great musicians," says Carrington, who sees her own Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue as addressing some of the same issues as its 1963 predecessor. "There's always something that's new, if you know how to listen to it. You have to be able to appreciate the past if you want to have a future. I think that's a big part of our job as artists and entertainers and educators - to keep reminding the younger musicians how important our predecessors were - especially the people who made the music what it is today. So it was my goal to bring some fresh light and fresh energy to some of Duke's music in general and this recording in particular."
In speaking about his and Carrington's partnership with Concord Music, Robert Hebert, CEO of Hebert-Carrington Media, shares "Terri Lyne and I are very excited about our relationship with Concord Music ... John (Burk) and Glen (Barros) ... and their team: Mark Wexler, Jason Linder, Larry Bole, Mike Wilpizeski, Kajo Paukert, Rick Nuhn, Zak Weil, Evelyn Mowbray and the rest of the Concord team all have done a great job supporting the Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue project. And, of course their work on the 2012 GRAMMY® Award-winning Mosaic Project yielded unforgettable dividends for us all. We are proud to be counted as a part of the Concord family. They believe in us, and we in them."
Hebert continues: "As far as the new relationship with Universal Music in Japan ... Bruce Lundvall and Hitoshi Namekata assisted our company over several years in putting this together. We look forward to doing much more with Universal Music Japan, and especially to the opportunity to continue our collaboration with Ken Arai, Yoshimitsu Harashima, Rutsuko Hanamura and their teams in Tokyo."
Carrington has been quite busy of late. In addition to her solo work, she is on a global tour with her ACS Trio configuration with Geri Allen and Esperanza Spalding.
Upcoming ACS Performances:
October 5 / Quick Center for the Arts / Fairfield, CT
October 11 / The Terrace Theater, The Kennedy Center / Washington, DC
October 15 / McCain Auditorium, Kansas City University / Manhattan, KS
October 16 / Juanita K. Hammons Hall / Springfield, MO
October 17 / Paramount Theatre / Austin, TX
October 19 / Cullen Theater, Wortham Theater Center / Houston, TX
October 20 / Lensic Performing Arts Center / Santa Fe, NM
October 22 / Ikeda Theatre, Mesa Arts Center / Mesa, AZ
October 24 / SFJAZZ Center / San Francisco, CA
October 25 - 26 / Samueli Theater / Costa Mesa, CA
October 27 / The Broad Stage / Santa Monica, CA
November 7 / Helsinki Music Centre / Helsinki, Finland
November 8 / Stockholm Konserthuset / Stockholm, Sweden
November 9 / National Jazzscene / Oslo, Norway
November 12 / Heidelberg Stadthalle / Heidelberg, Germany
November 13 / Stadtcasino / Basel, Switzerland
November 14 / Palau de la Musica / Barcelona, Spain
November 15 / Sala Multiusos / Zaragoza, Spain
November 17 / Barbican Centre / London, England
November 22 / Corp of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall / Ontario, Canada
November 24 / Symphony Hall / Boston, MA
Other Upcoming Terri Lyne Carrington Performances:
October 23 / Smith Center for the Performing Arts / Las Vegas, NV
January 24, 2014 / Carlsen Center / Overland Park, KS
February 8, 2014 / Kirkham Auditorium, BYU / Rexburg, ID
March 21, 2014 / Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival / San Juan, Puerto Rico
March 29, 2014 / Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet / Stockton, CA
May 2, 2014 / Chicago Symphony Hall / Chicago, IL
Looking ahead to 2014, Hebert-Carrington Media is turning its attention to three major recordings that have been long-planned: Carrington's next recording project is the Mosaic Project II follow up, the company's first Brazilian-themed multimedia project: Alma Brasileira - which it plans to release at the time of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and the Password collaborative with Carrington, Chris Walker, Frank McComb and Dwight Sill.