Before she honored the life and music of her “friend and sister” Geri Allen with a Winter Jazzfest concert at the New School, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington gave us a live preview last Friday on WBGO’s Afternoon Jazz.
Carrington — leading a group with vocalist Lizz Wright, pianist Helen Sung and bassist Kenny Davis — filled our performance space with the spirit and music of Allen, who passed away last June, two weeks after her 60th birthday.
All of the artists shared warm thoughts and memories of a musician who displayed and imparted great range as a performer, composer and teacher. The quartet also expressed their individual gratitude for the blessing of having Geri and her music in their personal and professional lives.
The trio of Carrington, Sung and Davis brought their own stylistic glow to Allen’s “Feed The Fire,” and brought dynamic new life to Charlie Parker’s “Ah-leu-Cha.”
Wright was captivating on the Allen compositions “Timeless Portraits and Dreams” and “Unconditional Love.” (Terri Lyne is looking forward to the day when the latter becomes a jazz standard.)