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Terri Lyne Carrington This” she teams with jazz-pop chanteuse Nancy Wilson, who conjures visions of a martini bar in the outer limits, and on the samba-tinged “Can’t Resist” Carrington herself turns in effectively airy vocals. “One day I’ll do an album where I sing more,” she predicts, “but the whole concept of this record was ‘one song, one singer.’ I wasn’t going to bump so many amazing singers off just so I could get my own voice on there. What — I’m going to tell Nancy Wilson, ‘Sorry, you’ve gotta go to make way for one more song with me’? I don’t think so.” “Can’t Resist” is one of several cuts on the album to feature electronic percussion, although Carrington’s use of drum programs isn’t overbearing or overly stylized, and she always augments the tracks with live drums. “I use GarageBand,” she explains. “It’s simple, fast, and it’s pretty versatile, I think. I have a library of sounds that I like to use, so I’ll do all my demos or prepreproduction — vocals, bass, drums, piano, everything — and I’ll replace whatever’s needed with live playing. There’s more elaborate programs out there, more technical things, but I’m comfortable with GarageBand.”

Setting The Stage

To accommodate both singers and instrumentalists, the Love And Soul studio sessions took place in both New York City (Jeremy Loucas’ Studio B at Sear Sound, Valerie Simpson’s Above Asia studio) and Los Angeles (The Lair, Village Recording). Carrington nixed the idea of flying her drums to L.A. (“too expensive — I self-finance my recordings”), as well as hauling her kit back and forth between her home in Boston and New York. (Carrington has served as Associate Professor at Berklee’s College Of Music for the past ten years.) So she opted for rented Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute kits from S.I.R.

“Whether it’s a gig or a session, I don’t travel with drums, it’s too much trouble,” she says. “I’m used to playing on rented kits, so it’s fine. I like to tweak the drums and try to make each piece sound unique — different tunings, different ways of playing them. Sometimes I’ll put gaffer’s tape on the drums and see what that does. You can get your snare to sound like a drum machine like that, which has its uses. I don’t really get hung up on drum sounds in the studio, because I know I’m going to go back and change things. I just get a basic sound I like and go with it. There’s a lot of ‘lo-fi-ing,’ rolling off the highs and lows on some things.” She describes her setup as “fairly standard, nothing quirky”: an array of Zildjian cymbals, a jazz-size 20" bass drum, a couple rack toms, and a floor. Perhaps the quirkiest aspect of her setup is her use of two snare drums, with the auxiliary one, set off to her far right, tuned low. “Sometimes I may put quite a bit of tape on cymbals or find some old ones in the studio,” she says. “I have a pretty set way I like to arrange the kit. From doing so many shows with lights going off and all kinds of distractions, I don’t want to have to think about the kit or have to look at where anything is. In a perfect world, I should be able to close my eyes and play with no worries.”

No Agenda

One might think that Carrington would be hyper-critical of her own drum performances in the studio, but she claims that, given the option, she would hire other drummers for her records in a heartbeat. “Not because of my drumming,” she points out, “but because I just don’t want to obsess about the drums. I want to focus on the big picture, the whole record. When I produced Dianne Reeves’ Beautiful Life, Terreon Gully played drums. I ended up going in and playing on a couple of songs, because I just wanted my



1984 Seven Minds  

1988 Flat Out  

1989 Real Life Story   

1990 Crossroads  

1991 Songbook  

1992 Landmarks  

1993 A Change Of Heart  

1994 Quiet After The Storm  

1995 High Life  

1996 Room Of One’s Own  

1996 Panamonk  

1997 Moody Plays Mancini  

1998 Gershwin’s World  

2000 The Invisible Hand  

2001 The Final Concert  

2002 Jazz Is A Spirit   

2003 Glamoured  

2003 Alegría  

2004 Structure   

2005 For The Rhythm  

2009 More To Say … Real Life Story   

2009 Congo Square  

2009 Big Neighborhood  

2010 Chamber Music Society  

2011 The Mosaic Project   

2012 Mutatis Mutandis  

2015 The Mosaic Project: Love And Soul   


December 2015

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10/15/15 9:29 AM

DRUM! Magazine December 2015  

Try a copy of DRUM! and learn to play better faster. The huge (144 pages) holiday issue features jazz triple grammy winner Teri Lyne Carring...

DRUM! Magazine December 2015  

Try a copy of DRUM! and learn to play better faster. The huge (144 pages) holiday issue features jazz triple grammy winner Teri Lyne Carring...