A trio of contemporary jazz greats choose to abbreviate.
By Cristofer Gross
Forty years ago the most successful progressive rock group went by its initials: ELP. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, veterans of other famous bands, formed a "supergroup." With much less fanfare but more raw firepower, a new super trio has emerged in contemporary jazz.
Unlike the men of old, ACS has no recordings. That's because pianist Geri Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and bassist Esperanza Spalding are so busy with individual Grammy-worthy projects they could only squeeze in a short tour. Fortunately, it includes shows in the Samueli on October 25 and 26.
Although it will be Allen's first visit, Spalding had an unforgettable debut here in 2009, before she became the first jazz artist to earn Best New Artist in Grammy history. Since then she released two more acclaimed CDs and has been in constant demand in the studios and on festival stages.
In May, Carrington, who was here eight years ago, spoke about ACS for a story in Revue.
"Our very first gig in New York was at the Vanguard and we recorded a couple of those nights," she said. "It sounds good, but we don't have any plans to release it or go into the studio. But anything can happen."
Saxophonist Joe Lovano, who will be at the Center with the McCoy Tyner Trio in December, has appeared alongside ACS this summer in concerts marking Wayne Shorter's 80th birthday. In a separate interview, he praised the trio.
"Geri's amazing," he said. "She's fabulous and knows so much music. Terri also, the way she reorganizes and restructures things within the music is just beautiful."
Don't miss ACS. This is one acronym-supergroup whose touring days may be as abbreviated as its name.
Read Cris’ full story in the Center’s online Revue magazine here. To read Mr. Gross's interview with Carrington, please visit his website, Theater Times.