David Murray, Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington Create The Power Trio and Release Perfection (April 15), Named for An Ornette Coleman Composition That Was Never Recorded Until Now
The Power Trio Dedicated the Album to Ornette Coleman and Will Debut the Music at Birdland in New York City MAY 17-21
Motéma Music is proud to present Perfection, the debut recording of the recently formed jazz supergroup comprised of reedman David Murray, pianist Geri Allen and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. Perfection (April 15, 2016) was recorded just a week after the passing of Ornette Coleman and is named for a previously unrecorded Coleman composition. The trio wanted to pay tribute to one of the greatest musicians of all time and Murray brought forth the idea of recording “Perfection.” Coleman was a great friend and teacher to Murray, and Allen recorded and toured with Coleman for several years.
The artists dedicated songs on the album to Coleman and to other heroes who passed on in 2016: Marcus Belgrave, Charlie Haden and Father Peter O’Brien, the confidante/manager of Mary Lou Williams. Carrington dedicated one of her compositions to Wayne Shorter, one of the greatest living jazz masters, with whom Carrington joined on tour for nearly ten years beginning in 1987.
Each of Perfection’s leaders – Murray, Allen and Carrington – has their own loyal following and a sterling reputation for prolific creativity and innovation. Each has achieved considerable artistic heights and is a renowned educator. This debut signals a new chapter in the long history of successful collaborations between Allen and Carrington and is the first collaboration that adds the unique sound of Murray. A collection of deeply poetic and expansive 21st century jazz, the recording showcases original compositions by each artist and arrangements created specifically for this unusual configuration of saxophone, piano and drums.
The group was brought together by Murray to perform for the first time at Winter Jazzfest in New York City in January 2015. The rousing response of that first collaboration led to more touring and to this powerful recording. As explained in the liner notes, We wanted to present a ‘power house’ of sound that represents who we are individually and collectively, and that exemplifies our affiliation with the traditions of jazz, as well as the influence of what’s happening in jazz today. It’s important for artists to continuously stretch themselves in order to continue to have something to say and to share…This trio, without bass, challenges each of us to engage ourselves differently than we have done in other groups or musical formats.
The long-developed chemistry between Allen and Carrington is amply evident in this recording as they effortlessly work together to fill the role traditionally played by the bass – namely to create the bridge between the rhythm section and melodic lead. Occasionally Murray will step in to create a bass groove with the lower notes on his bass clarinet or tenor sax, making for a unique type of post-bop recording. While the individual voice of each composer is evident, the three styles combine to create a notably greater whole.
The recent losses of Coleman and of Allen’s mentor, Marcus Belgrave, represent an emotional time of reckoning for Murray, Allen and Carrington as they seek to uphold and carry on the traditions of social commentary and free jazz instilled in them by these elders. It was Murray’s idea to bring the song “Perfection” to the program as a testament to Coleman and to always striving for the best. He learned it in the 1970s from Bobby Bradford, who transcribed it directly from Coleman’s playing in the early ‘60’s. Since Coleman had never recorded it, Murray suggested the trio record it as a tribute and invite three colleagues to join them: trombonist and band leader Craig Harris, who performed and recorded frequently with Coleman; bassist Charnett Moffett, who was not only named for Coleman but also grew up around him, performed with him and is a chief disciple of Coleman’s Harmelodic theory; and young trumpeter Wallace Roney, Jr, who played with Coleman at Celebrate Brooklyn in June 2013.
There are certain extraordinary musicians upon whose shoulders we stand, both because their work is of the highest musical standard and because their ability to teach and inspire is exceptional. This encourages all of us to seek our own excellence and be the best we can be… “Perfection” is our tribute to the great innovator Ornette Coleman. We will miss him dearly, but the power of his legacy continues through all that he has impacted and will affect many generations to come.
This inspiring musical offering documents a unique triangle of forces and brings a new and exciting energy to jazz while honoring its past in a way that is beautiful, moving and thought-provoking. The chemistry between these three musicians is fantastic.
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