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An Informed Match

Shared influences and outlooks unite drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and singer Patsy Moore.

January 15, 1998|ZAN STEWART | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

At first, I wondered where the musical commonality was between Terri Lyne Carrington and Patsy Moore, who will perform together Sunday at La Ve Lee in Studio City. Carrington is the immensely talented jazz-rooted drummer who has worked with such greats as Wayne Shorter and James Moody. Moore is an acoustic folk-pop singer-songwriter in the Joni MitchellJoan Armatrading tradition.

Well, for starters, the women are just a year apart--Carrington is 32, Moore, 33--and, as the latter said, "We're socially informed by the same things."

"Some of Patsy's music reminds me of music I have written," said Carrington in the duo interview. "She could tell my influences, I could tell hers." In fact, each names Mitchell, Armatrading and Shorter as artists that have informed them.

The La Ve Lee engagement unites the pair, who first met when the songwriter invited the drummer to guest on her debut, 1990 Warner Bros. album, "Regarding the Human Condition."

Over the years, friendship and musical camaraderie have kept the pair in touch. Carrington, who is from Medford, Mass., moved to L.A. from Manhattan in 1988. Moore, who was born in Antigua, West Indies, and raised near Durham, N.C., had been residing in Nashville until last summer, when she came to Southern California. Recently, they decided to do some performing.

At La Ve Lee, Carrington--whose 1989 Verve debut, "Real Life Story," was Grammy-nominated--will lead off with her brand of jazz, followed by Moore's songs. Carrington, guitarist Toshi Yanagi and bassist Les King will play throughout, while guitarist John Yzkanin will also work with Moore.

Carrington is currently part of the band on "Vibe," the talk-variety show hosted by comedian Sinbad, which airs weeknights at 11 p.m. on KCOP-TV (Ch. 13).

In addition, singer Dianne Reeves' "That Day...," which Carrington performed and produced, has just been released. She describes her songs as "groove-oriented but by no means funk or straight-ahead."

"Some of the melodies are almost avant-garde. They remind me of Ornette," she said, referring to the groundbreaking saxman, Ornette Coleman. "Others have sweeter melodies, and there's one with a New Orleans-ish groove. I like all kinds of music."

Moore, who plays acoustic guitar and sings in a warm, open voice, will offer songs that range from Caribbean to light funk grooves and that tell provocative stories.

"Like the album title, they're mostly about the human condition," said Moore, who made a follow-up album, "The Flower Child's Guide to Love and Fashion."

For example, "Defenseless" is about "shedding whatever your albatross is, and embracing life without fear."

The friendship-collaboration has enhanced both artists.

"Just having a conversation about music with Terri, I feel stretched," Moore said. "I listen to music differently than I did before."

Carrington agreed: "My listening level has been heightened as well. She'll hear something in a song that I never zero in on. It's interesting."

* Terri Lyne Carrington and Patsy Moore appear Sunday, 9:30 and 11:30 p.m., at La Ve Lee, 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. Cover charge, $8, two-drink minimum. Information: (818) 980-8158.

*

Heavy Keys: John Beasley, one of the most inventive of L.A.-based jazz keyboardists, tours with such people as Steely Dan and the Spice Girls, then goes home and hibernates. No more, said Beasley, who has played with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard. The Marina del Rey resident has decided to "go for it" and is booked indefinitely on Wednesdays, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., at the Baked Potato (3787 Cahuenga Blvd., North Hollywood; $10 cover, two-drink minimum; [818] 980-1615).

Beasley will bring in a rotating crew of some of the best contemporary jazz artists in Southern California, among them bassist Melvin Davis, saxophonist Steve Tavaglione and drummer Greg Hutchinson, who appear this Wednesday. As always, you can expect a mix of material, from fresh originals and tunes by Wayne Shorter or Freddie Hubbard to revamped pop hits.

"On these latter songs, you can play different rhythms while still playing jazz," Beasley said. "The shows will be fun and loose, not any notey fusion stuff."

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Barone's Back: Trombonist Mike Barone really knows how to compose and arrange for big band. Before going to Colorado in the early '80s, and then the Northwest, he was one of the most popular, and swingingest, writers in town. He wrote for Doc Severinsen's "Tonight Show" band, Louie Bellson and Tom Scott. Now Barone is back and makes his first big band appearance Tuesday, 8 and 10 p.m., at the Moonlight (13730 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; $13 cover for 8 p.m. show, $9 cover for 10 p.m., $9.95 food or drink minimum; [818] 788-2000).

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