WBGO Radar

Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio: Perfection

david murray, geri allen, terri lynne carrington, ornette coleman, jazz, wbgo

"Perfection" is the title of an Ornette Coleman composition, and the new recording from the power trio of saxophonist / clarinetist David Murray, pianist Geri Allen and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.

The group was brought together by Murray to perform for the first time at Winter Jazzfest in New York in January 2015. As the trio explains in the album's liner notes, " We wanted to present a powerhouse of sound that represents who we are individually and collectively, and that exemplifies our affiliations with the traditions of jazz, as well as the influence of what's happening in jazz today."

The recent losses of Ornette Coleman and of Allen's mentor, Marcus Belgrave, represent a time of emotional reckoning for these three as they seek to uphold and carry on the traditions and free spirit instilled in them by these elders.

The chemistry here is infectious. Geri wrote "The Nurturer" as a tribute to Belgrave. This gorgeous tune is one of many that shows the interplay of Murray's tenor sax, Allen's piano and Carrington's rhythms in harmony, yet each voice singing praise.

The traditional "Barbara Allen", arranged by the pianist, finds inspiration from Charlie Haden's improvisations on the melody of this folk song often played by the bassist.

Allen's "For Fr. Peter O'Brien" is a tribute to the long time advocate of Mary Lou Williams, with Murray's bass clarinet in swinging tandem. His playful expressions are also evident on Carrington's " D Special".

Terri Lyne wrote "Samsara", with it's quiet haunt, as a tribute to supreme maestro, Wayne Shorter.

Murray's "Cycles And Seasons" shows the triangle of creative forces apparent throughout "Perfection".

The title track, by Ornette Coleman, was never recorded. Until now. Murray's suggestion to record this finds the addition of three additional musical voices, all who recorded or played with Coleman; trombonist Craig Harris, bassist Charnett Moffett and trumpeter Wallace Roney, Jr. The power here shows the influence Coleman will continue to have on musicians for ears to come.

The excitement of jazz often comes from musician chemistry coming together from different angles. David Murray, Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington show throughout that they possess the creative spirit and supreme talent to give freedom to the word perfection, a word whose definition these three show can roll with the future of the music.

"Perfection" comes out on April 15th from Motema Records

- Gary Walker, Morning Jazz Host

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