New Standards Vol. 1 (Candid)

Terri Lyne Carrington / Kris Davis / Linda May Han Oh / Nicholas Payton / Matthew Stevens

Released September 2022

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DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review

YouTube:

https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_ntllNOwlnW_A7dygB9JoRFQ_pQMk8f9-U

Spotify:

https://open.spotify.com/intl-pt/album/3fn7tQJA1sjZuZbxPiqlWF?si=pR6YXoO2R5uSl6qcyUK61w

About:

For the 2018 opening celebration of the Berklee Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice, Teri Lyne Carrington asked her students to select and perform songs from the famed jazz Real Book – a compilation of lead sheets or scores of jazz standards – written by women composers.  When she released there was only one in the entire book, Carrington, a Grammy Award winning virtuoso jazz drummer, composer, inter-disciplinary artist, activist and educator, who has worked tirelessly over the last decade to advocate for inclusivity and raise the voice of women, trans and non-binary people in jazz, set out to shift the narrative.

Over the next several years, Carrington assembled New Standards (Hal Leonard Sept 2022) a book of 101 jazz compositions written by women. new STANDARDS Vol. 1 captures 11 of these compositions. This star-studded recording features special guests Ambrose Akinmusire, Melanie Charles, Ravi Coltrane, Val Jeanty, Samara Joy, Julian Lage, Michael Mayo, Elena Pinderhughes, Dianne Reeves, Negah Santos and Somi, backed by a core section comprised of Carrington (drums), Kris Davis (piano), Linda May Han Oh (bass), Nicholas Payton (trumpet), and Matthew Stevens (guitar.)

The record gives listeners a sense of this project’s vast range, with contemporary composers like harpist Brandee Younger’s “Respected Destroyer,” clarinetist Anat Cohen’s “Ima,” vocalist Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away” as well as pieces by Gretchen Parlato, Carla Bley and more.  The recordings – which range from vocal ballads to contemporary creative music – are inspired and adventurous and explore the limitless universe of jazz. 

Terri Lyne Carrington began playing drums when she was seven, performed with pioneering jazz flugel hornist Clark Terry at ten, and was awarded a scholarship to the Berklee College Of Music at age eleven.  Her list of credits includes the likes of Lester Bowie, Stan Getz, Woody Shaw, David Sanborn, Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, and Herbie Hancock. As a bandleader, Carrington’s triple decade spanning repertoire includes the Grammy award-winning album The Mosaic Project, Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue, and her Grammy-nominated set with Social Science titled Waiting Game. Carrington currently serves as Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice.

Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington and Matthew Stevens, this album is “Vol. 1,” Carrington’s goal is to record all 101 pieces from the new songbook that she’s created.

Brimming with inspired and adventurous pieces that explore the limitless universe of jazz, “new STANDARDS – Vol. 1” also highlights contributions from special guests Ambrose Akinmusire, Ravi Coltrane, Val Jeanty, Samara Joy, Julian Lage, Michael Mayo, Elena Ptinderhughes, and Dianne Reeves.

In addition to new STANDARDS Vol. 1, Carrington will also release New Standards: 101 Lead Sheets By Women Composers on September 15, published by Hal Leonard. Developed by Carrington, New Standards features compositions by a dazzling list of 100+ women jazz titans, contemporary stars, and award winners: esperanza spalding, Nubya Garcia, jaimie branch, Diane Reeves, Maria Schneider, Mary Lou Williams, Brandee Younger, Alicia Coltrane, Nicole Mitchell, Cassandra Wilson, Cecile McLorin Salvant to name a few. From pieces that go back to 1922, to some composed by Berklee Jazz and Gender Justice students, to selections from the global landscape of jazz, New Standards offers an alternative to what the canon has consisted of to date and is a part of the larger corrective work that needs to be done to illuminate the fact that there are and always have been women composers in jazz.

Following the release of the album and book in September, Detroit’s Carr Center will host New Standards as the first part of the forthcoming larger exhibition Shifting the Narrative: Jazz and Gender Justice, from October 13 to November 27. Curated by Carrington, it will feature live performances, panel discussions, a photo exhibit, archival material and artwork created by many contemporary jazz artists on the theme of “new standards” as well as the installation’s three other sections: The Female and Non-binary Gaze, Invisible Labor, and Geri Allen and Mary Lou Williams In Conversation. Programs will be designed to engage with the residents and students of Detroit and its surrounding areas.

Carrington also produced a live album that will be released on September 9 (Candid Records), titled Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival. Recorded in 2017, it features Wayne Shorter (saxophone), esperanza spalding (bass, vocals), Leo Genovese (piano) and Carrington (drums). Listen to “Midnight In Carlotta,” the latest single from the spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime recording here.

Last year, Carrington launched Next Jazz Legacy in partnership with New Music USA and Berklee’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice, an organization that strives for a more inclusive jazz future. New Standards is a continuation of her ground-breaking work to raise the voice of women and non-binary artists in jazz and call for inclusivity.

Track Listing:

1. Wind Flower (Sara Cassey) 4:27

2. Circling (Gretchen Parlato) 6:01

3. Uplifted Heart (Shamie Royston) 6:46

4. Moments (Eliane Elias) 4:40

5. Continental Cliff (Patricia Pérez) 4:48

6. Throw It Away (Abbey Lincoln) 5:50

7. Respected Destroyer (Brandee Younger) 5:28

8. Two Hearts (Lawns) (Carla Bley /Terri Lyne Carrington) 4:41

9. Unchanged (Marta Sánchez) 4:19

10. Ima (Anat Cohen) 5:19

11. Rounds (Live) (Marilyn Crispell) 8:02

Personnel:

Terri Lyne Carrington: drums

Kris Davis: piano

Linda May Han Oh: bass

Nicholas Payton: trumpet

Matthew Stevens: guitar

Special Guests
Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet (11)

Melanie Charles: vocal (6)

Ravi Coltrane: saxophone (3, 4, 7, 8)

Val Jeanty: electronics (3)

Samara Joy: vocal (8)

Julian Lage: guitar (1, 2, 10)

Michael Mayo: vocal (2)

Elena Pinderhughes: flute (1, 3, 7)

Dianne Reeves: voice (4)

Negah Santos: percussion (2, 3, 6, 10)

Somi: vocal (6)

Wind Ensemble (5, 8, 10) – Milena Casado Fauquet: flugelhorn, Anabel Gil Diaz: flute, Veronica Leahy: bass clarinet – arranged by Edmar Colon

Shadrack Oppong: spoken word (3)

Produced by Terri Lyne Carrington and Matthew Stevens

Mixed by Jeremy Loucas

Mastered by Dan Millice

Recorded by Gerson Lazo-Quiroga & Matt Hayes

Assistant Engineer: Matt Hall

Additional recording by Jeremy Loucas

Edited by Jeremy Loucas & Dean Albak

Graphic Design by Yesim Tosuner

Review:

One of the fascinations of listening to new jazz recordings comes when a spotlight is turned on artists and tunes that were somehow missed or overlooked the first time around. New Standards Volume 1 does just that. It’s very smartly curated by the esteemed drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and was conceived in her educational role heading Berklee’s wokeist Institute for Jazz and Gender Justice after a student project in which only one lead sheet written by a woman was found in the jazz jammer’s bible The Real Book. Carrington, in response, wrote a Real Book of her own featuring 101 songs written solely by women and was published by Hal Leonard. Vol. 1 is that book’s audio equivalent and contains the first 11; she intends to record them in total so we can expect maybe eight volumes more.

Carrington fields a core quintet and adds star-studded extras ranging from hip young vocal and instrumental talents through to established names. The classy vocalist Dianne Reeves, to my ears, doesn’t make enough connection with Elias Elias’ ‘Moments’ as she sounds less her soulful self. Young Michael Mayo’s neo-soul-inflected croon on Gretchen Parlato’s ‘Circling’ might not have Parlato’s expressive range of vocal quirks, but it’s on the attractive end of honey-toned singing approaches nonetheless. The vocalist Somi with African-inflected ensemble support does well on a heartfelt rendition of Abbey Lincoln’s poignant hard-to-better ‘Throw it Away’. Flautist Elena Pinderhughes, from Christian Scott’s band, and guitarist Julian Lage are among the standout guest performers, especially on the graceful minor blues ‘Wind Flower’ written by lesser-known hard bop-era African-American composer Sara Cassey. Rising star Samara Joy’s silky neo-soul flutter on Carrington’s vocalese version of Carla Bley’s ‘Two Hearts (Lawn)’ – the most likely female contributor to the original Real Book – has a monotonous cool about it and Ravi Coltrane’s sumptuous tenor solo is an instant charmer.

The core band – including Carrington’s always crisp and groovesome kitwork – stretches out into more abstract territory on Patricia Perez’ ‘Continental Cliff’ with Nicholas Payton and Kris Davis both creating an edgy excitement, and there’s compelling interplay all round throughout a free jazz-fuelled live version of Marilyn Crispell’s ‘Rounds’. Slick sounding yet diversely stimulating, it’s that rare instance of a guest-star-heavy recording that succeeds in hitting most of the high notes.

Selwyn Harris (Jazzwise)