Terri Lyne Carrington is a popular drummer, percussionist, composer, and bandleader. Her signature funky drumming style has been applied to many different settings, from jazz and soul to rock, blues, and even crossover classical music. She is one of the first significant female drummers in jazz.
Carrington was regarded as a prodigy in her hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. While still in high school and college, she impressed many veteran jazz players while still a child. Moving to New York City in the early '80s, she began to get gigs with local musicians before gaining enough attention to warrant another move, this time to California, where she was seen by millions on a nightly basis as a member of the band on The Arsenio Hall Show and worked with Wayne Shorter's late-'80s band. She released her debut recording as a leader on Verve Forecast in 1989. Into the late '90s, Carrington continued working steadily and was heard best in funk settings, as exemplified by her work with Herbie Hancock.
At the turn of the century, her second solo album began to take shape and was eventually released in 2002 as Jazz Is a Spirit. Two years later, she delivered Structure, featuring the similarly funk and post-bop-inclined saxophonist Greg Osby. Carrington returned in 2009 with More to Say...Real Life Story; it featured an all-star lineup of guests including George Duke, Everette Harp, Kirk Whalum, and Walter Beasley, and then up-and-coming trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire. In 2011, she released The Mosaic Project, which spotlighted several vocalists -- including Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among other artists -- and was played by an all-female band. She won a Grammy for the set in 2012 for Best Jazz Vocal album.
She circled back to her ever evolving Mosaic Project for 2015's Love & Soul. The 12-song offering showcased an entirely new female band, as well as a large host of vocalists who included Ledisi, Wright, Chaka Khan, Chante Moore, and Valerie Simpson. ~ Scott Yanow