Producer Terri Lyne Carrington follows up her Grammy-winning, all-female “The Mosaic Project” by offering a fresh take on the classic trio recording “Money Jungle” – the session released 50 years ago that teamed pianist Duke Ellington, bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach.
Some of the strongest tracks – such as “Wig Wise,” which includes Brazilian rhythms and Mideastern motifs, and Clayton’s ballad “Cut Off” that references Ellington’s “Solitude” – spotlight the trio of drummer Carrington, pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Christian McBride. And Carrington enhances “Fleurette Africain” with ex-Ellingtonian trumpeter Clark Terry’s scat/spoken-word vocals and “Backward Country Boy Blues” with Nir Felder’s earthy slide guitar intro and Lizz Wright’s wordless vocals.
The hard-swinging “Money Jungle” includes sound clips on the state of capitalism from Martin Luther King Jr., Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, while the mellow “Rem Blues/Music” has Shea Rose reciting a poem comparing music to a seductive woman and Herbie Hancock quoting Ellington’s observations on the clash between jazz creativity and commerce.
By Charles J. Gans, AP