Terri Lyne Carrington’s The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul is incredible from start to finish. Each song’s a pleasurable listening experience with a tremendous degree of reply value; an outstanding body of work that, at its core, may yet be ahead of its time. Carrington’s production and arrangements are its lungs and veins, pumping this vessel of sounds with the finest of artistic integrity. If this Mosaic were a painting in the literal sense, it would be random splashes of aesthetically-pleasing colors with a meticulously embellished red heart drawn in its center, all encased in a light-bending crystal frame.
A three-time Grammy winner and iconic drummer in the global music community, Carrington exemplifies rhythm while possessing the utmost creative courageousness. She’s not afraid to tamper with the traditional use of an instrument or voice of a featured performer, the reason songs here freshly compliment every vocalist (this includes Nancy Wilson, Chaka Khan, Paula Cole, and Ledisi) and musician (Patrice Rushen, Tia Fuller, and Meshell Ndegoecello, among others) on this passionate set of sprawling audio beauty.
Its concept is great women artists paying homage to the music or inspirations of great male artists such as Nick Ashford, George Duke, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross, and Bill Withers. And they all do an amazing job.
The album gets off to an emotionally powerful start, giving us “Come Sunday” featuring Natalie Cole with spoken word performed by Billy Dee Williams, the LP’s only male voice. For those familiar with the Duke Ellington/Mahalia Jackson original, the verses on this heartfelt number find Cole speaking intently to God. Also gripping is “This Too Will Pass” featuring Lalah Hathaway and “Somebody Told a Lie” featuring Valerie Simpson. The funky “So Good” featuring Jaguar Wright, with its electric guitar change-ups and surprising horns, is a tribute to George Duke.
Don’t hesitate to give this album a listen. You’re sure to find a favorite amongst a whole lot to love.
—Mr. Joe Walker
Mr. Joe Walker is an urban and pop culture enthusiast. Known as “The Word Heavyweight Champion”, the biographer, author, entertainment and celebrity journalist, and columnist is currently a senior writer for SoulTrain.com, staff writer for Muskegon Tribune Newspaper, and writer of weekly classic hip-hop reviews for Concrete Magazine’s Concrete615.com. Also co-creator of TheGrooveSpot.com, Walker’s acclaimed, award-winning work has been published thousands of times regionally, nationally, internationally, and online. He is also working on a book project with Liquid Arts & Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @mrjoewalker, connect with him on Facebook, and also visit his blog MrJoeWalker.blogspot.com.