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Jazz - Released May 26, 2015 | Blue Note (BLU)

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
Terence Blanchard's 2013 return to Blue Note, Magnetic, built upon his decades-long history of post-bop dynamism with a forward-thinking approach that blended edgy, modal improvisation with a sophisticated, genre-crossing compositional style. It was a concept he had been investigating on his previous efforts Bounce (2003), Flow (2005), and Choices (2009), and, though it had been years since Blanchard was considered a young lion, the eclecticism of the album matched the work of many of his younger contemporaries like trumpeter Christian Scott and pianist Robert Glasper, the latter of whom even played on Bounce. In keeping with this boundary-pushing trajectory, Blanchard's follow-up, 2015's Breathless, finds the New Orleans native jumping wholeheartedly into a funky stew of R&B, hip-hop, and fusion-influenced jazz. Blanchard is joined here by his band the E-Collective, an adroit group of young players centered around gifted keyboardist Fabian Almazan, the only carry-over from the Magnetic sessions. Along with Almazan, the E-Collective features Charles Altura (guitar), Donald Ramsey (bass), and Oscar Seaton (drums). Also showcased throughout is vocalist PJ Morton, who has released his own R&B- and contemporary gospel-infused albums and toured as a keyboardist with the pop group Maroon 5. Ambitious, adventurous, and steeped in the kind of sticky, psychedelic jazz-funk pioneered by trumpeter Miles Davis in the '70s, Breathless is Blanchard's most electrified album to date. While Blanchard has long drawn comparisons to Davis, they've mostly referenced the iconic trumpeter's classic quintet sides from the late '60s and not his effects-drenched fusion period. Similarly, while on previous efforts Blanchard has flirted with an electronic sound, he's never gone this far in a contemporary jazz direction. Here we get a very '90s hip-hop/jazz-infused reworking of Les McCann's classic 1969 socio-political anthem "Compared to What," several languid, new agey spoken word pieces with Morton, and some expansive, groove-oriented cuts like the bluesy midtempo "See Me as I Am" that allow for plenty of spaced-out solos. Also intriguing are Morton's several slow jam vocal numbers, including an inspired cover of Hank Williams' "I Ain't Got Nothin' But Time,' which replaces the country legend's cowboy twang and fiddles with sweeping, Stevie Wonder-esque orchestral synth backgrounds. Also compelling is the languid, dreamy ballad "Everglades," which impossibly balances Debussy-influenced impressionism with angular, synthy, '80s electro-funk. Ultimately, while Breathless is a break from the aggressive, acoustic swing that has marked much of Blanchard's career, it nonetheless retains all the jaw-dropping artistry and soulful creativity we have come to expect, albeit delivered in a vibrant, electric style. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions Elu par Citizen Jazz
Trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard has come further in a sense than any of the 1980s Art Blakey alumni. While Wynton and Branford Marsalis may have higher profiles, Blanchard is the player who has most improved as both a soloist and an ensemble player. He is an excellent bandleader whose great taste in arrangements and sidemen are reflected on nearly all of his recordings. But most of all, Mr. Blanchard has become one of jazz's most sophisticated and erudite composers. Combining elegance; sleek, shimmering surfaces; and lopping, limpid ambiences with wonderful harmonic and melodic invention -- not to mention a great cast of soloists -- there's no wonder why Mr. Blanchard is Spike Lee's chosen soundtrack composer. On Bounce, Mr. Blanchard and his septet (which includes the brilliant pianist Aaron Parks, saxophonist Brice Winston, drummer Eric Harland, B3 and Fender Rhodes maestro Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, and bassist Brandon Owens) explore various sides of the Latin music experience while not making a "Latin" record per se. Blanchard seems to be interested in the colorations of rhythm on his own modern creative and post-bop experiments in texture, structure, and musical elasticity. And these tunes do stretch into melodic arenas he's never explored before. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than the achingly beautiful "Passionate Courage," where a long, slow opening statement form the horns moves in linear fashion to engage both piano and Rhodes at different junctures as they wander at a luxuriant pace through shaded key signatures and satiny harmonic figures, and engage counterpoint without actually delving into it. On "Azania," Owens' bass creates the Afro-Cuban motif that is gently funked up by Glasper on B3. Finally, the African side of the rhythm becomes dominant with chanted vocals by Loueke and the tune moves into Abdullah Ibrahim's brand of township jazz, while never straying from the blues all that much. Remarkable. Ultimately, Bounce is the most perfectly paced of all of Blanchard's recordings. He divides his time between tempos, but always comes back to silence to ground himself and begin over. In terms of his lyrical lines, they have never been in a sense more simple or more sophisticated (check out the blissed-out harmonics in "Innocence"), where the individual players become identified by their ensemble contributions first and then as soloists. Mr. Blanchard's own soling has never been more restrained or more profound. In his economy of phrase, entire sound worlds become evident that were never noticeable before. On Bounce, Blanchard proves that he is the trumpet player, composer, and bandleader who is moving jazz, albeit at his own pace, in new directions that encompass both a new look at Western musical systems and never leave the human heart out of the equation. This is his masterpiece thus far and a high-water mark for anybody else to follow. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 20, 2018 | Blue Note (BLU)

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TV Series - Released August 9, 2020 | WaterTower Music

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Film Soundtracks - Released May 29, 2020 | Milan

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Blue Note Records

When director Spike Lee tapped Terence Blanchard to compose the score for his 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the agony of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina was a story they both knew had to be told from a moral standpoint and with cultural credibility. Capturing the hurricane's sorrowful consequences through music would have to take its final shape more from the attitudes of their minds, the devastation they witnessed, and from the inspiration emanating from the people they would meet during the making of documentary. On A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina), Blanchard uses every principle he has mastered as a genius jazz trumpeter to relay the impact of the destruction, the frustration, the sadness and the hope for a future. Full of his beliefs, sustained and elevated by the power of his purpose, Blanchard, accompanied by his quintet and the Northwest Sinfonia (which he conducted and co-orchestrated), delivers a powerful explanation of the emotions surging through them during this devastating experience. Opening with "Ghost of Congo Square," an African beat drenched in Blanchard's articulate trumpeting, handclaps, percussion and the chant "This is the tale of God's will" -- the listener is immediately informed about why things beyond their comprehension will undoubtedly happen. The two-minute trumpet-based "Ghost of Betsy"(about Hurricane Betsy) and the plaintive "Ghost of 1927," a tune reincarnating another flood that ravaged New Orleans and sketched out by saxophonist Brice Winston and drummer Kendrick Scott, complete a trilogy of brief ghost interludes interspersed throughout the recording to imply warnings from the past. Blanchard depicts "Levees" as perpetually in flux: the calm before the storm as captured by the string arrangement; the interlude which decries a breakdown in the security of the Crescent City, shifting, changing, crashing from the strength of thousands of waves, blown by all the winds that passed and losing their old forms in the backwaters of time. His horn registers the aftermath of the destruction -- wailing, grieving and weeping. This song is absolutely amazing. Pianist Aaron Parks plays the unforgettable melody on "Wading Through" "The Water," and mournful "Funeral Dirge" form the remaining nucleus of the material from the documentary. Songs written by four members of Blanchard's quintet serve to offer their own perspective of the tragedy, yet all of the music flows seamlessly to create a brilliant, inspired requiem. The music is potent, tragic, and adept featuring full orchestral plunges and Blanchard's stellar trumpet emerging to involve you the way he's involved. "Dear Mom," Blanchard's heartfelt tribute to his mother who lost her home in the tragedy but thankfully survived with her life, closes the recording. The imagery of sadness and frustration is deeply prevalent but Blanchard builds in accents and hopeful rhythmic nuance to give the listener time to catch his breath, leave behind certain memories, and to realize the promise of a brighter future. The music here will leave you in a melancholy, contemplative mood and definitely in awe of the talented musicians, composers, and arrangers who told A Tale of God's Will. This CD was nominated in 2007 for a Grammy award as Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, and Blanchard's improvisation on "Levees" was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. © Paula Edelstein /TiVo
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Jazz - Released July 9, 2001 | Sony Classical

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2005 | Blue Note Records

Two years before Flow, Terence Blanchard released Bounce, a departure from anything he had done in his already storied career. It was a seminal album, with the ideas of a musician 20 years his junior, but the skill and command of the jazz great that he had become. As a follow-up, Flow exhibits that no one better balances traditionalism, provincialism and contemporary aesthetics like Blanchard. This is almost immediately evident and highlighted on "Wadagbe," the album's third cut. Blachard's instantly recognizable, clarion-call horn-tone is still there, as is the native New Orleanian's homage to the Nola stomp and mardi gras Indian chants, plus a classically lyrical jazz-head and an end-song coda that singes. Guitarist Lionel Loueke, still in his early 30s at the time, wrote "Wadagbe" and Benny Golson tribute "Benny's Tune." Young drummer Kendrick Scott wrote album-standout "The Source." In fact, Blanchard handles sole writing duties of just one song on the album, "Wandering Wonder," allowing his younger sidemen's voices to shine. It is this young energy that keeps Blanchard and the album's producer, Herbie Hancock, sounding so vibrant and current. Hancock, years into receiving Social Security, turned in the piano solo of the year on "The Source" -- a percussive display so cerebral, violent and dramatic that it almost defies belief. Few of Blanchard's Young Lion peers from the 1980s are still relevant in any fresh way, which makes Flow, together with its predecessor Bounce, such a revelation. Blanchard isn't stuck making 60s tribute albums or recycling the sound of his youth. Instead, he's hooking up with the hip kids, sometimes directing traffic, sometimes going with the Flow. © Vincent Thomas /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2006 | Varese Sarabande

New Orleans trumpeter/composer/bandleader Terence Blanchard re-teamed with longtime collaborator Spike Lee in 2006 for the thriller Inside Man. The film, starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster, follows a cat and mouse game between a philosophical bank robber and the detectives, lawyers, and bank officials who try and come between them. Blanchard, who spent much of the recording of the movie taking care of property and family members in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, turns in one of his most powerful scores to date, utilizing the expansiveness of Aaron Copland and the emotionally charged experimentation of Ennio Morricone to produce a work that is as playful and mischievous as it devastating and compelling. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 12, 2000 | Sony Classical

Trumpeter Blanchard has released some fine recordings in the '90s, but this one may be the best of them all, as he asserts himself as a composer of truly original modern jazz. He wrote seven selections, utilizing one or two of three saxophonists per cut -- Branford Marsalis and Brice Winston (tenor) or Aaron Fletcher (alto). It's the rhythm section that boils this pot over; bassist David Holland and especially pianist Edward Simon are en fuego, while young drummer Eric Harland continues to show steady progress en route to becoming a first-rate trappist. The first piece, "Luna Viajera," harkens back to the composition "Black Pearl." It's a dark, tick-tock, well-after-hours siren's song, with Fletcher and Winston crying uncle for romantic mercy. A patented, masterful bass solo from Holland intros "My Only Thought of You," an easy waltz with moaning, clarion horns by the leader and Marsalis, with a tick-tock beat going back to 3/4 informing the tenorman's solo. Three later numbers feature Winston: the very slow ballad "Sweet's Dream" has a lonely trumpet line from Blanchard; "Sidney" metamorphoses "End of a Love Affair" snippets into a completely new tune; while Simon's lone composition "The Process" is a deep midnight-blue waltz. The 11-minute "Joe & O" has steadily swung, introspective fragments of hip melody strewn throughout from Blanchard and Marsalis, while the resolute token standard finale "I Thought About You" is a languid blues-drizzled ballad for only the leader and his astute trio. Sparks fly, and unrequited moods coalesce during this prismatic epic of emotions, swing, and truly new mainstream jazz from Blanchard and his cohorts. It comes highly recommended, and is a strong candidate for Jazz CD of Y2K. © Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released February 3, 2017 | Blue Note (US1A)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Hollywood Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Concord Jazz

Choices is composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard's debut recording on the Concord label. And in a career with filled with many shifts and changes, it may be the most radical of all. It features his longtime cohorts, pianist Fabian Almazan, Derrick Hodge on bass, drummer Kendrick Scott, and Lionel Loueke on guitar. Saxophonist Walter Smith III joins the band here as well. In addition there are spoken word readings by intellectual, author, philosopher, and activist Dr. Cornel West, and vocals by neo-soul singer Bilal. The album was recorded in Blanchard's hometown of New Orleans at the Ogden Museum of Art. It's a meld of speculative post-bop, experimental yet accessible song forms, and jazz-initiated atmospheres. That leaves much to the imagination. Check out the opening cut, "Byus," written by Smith. A bassline and some percussive guitar effects by Loueke introduce West speaking about how "smartness" and "braininess" are qualitatively and radically different than wisdom and maturity "when wrestling with what it means to be human, when it comes to making the right, mature choices in life." It's a heady statement for reflection already, but when Blanchard and the band enter right there and weave a harmonically exceptional melody and a series of post-bop statements, it all goes wider and deeper. West re-enters for a moment to elucidate and then it's time for Smith's fine solo as the tune becomes a meditation on post-bop angularities and shifting textures and modes. West appears on six of the album's 15 cuts, either interwoven with the band playing tunes, or a cappella. It's provocative to be sure; and while a bit dense initially because of the complex sonic meld, it's also quite compelling, instructive and uplifting. Bilal will be new to most jazz fans, and though known as a contemporary urban music star, he has the right phrasing, proper discipline, and solid vocal chops to sing jazz. What he does here is move effortlessly through the band's compositions using his own very individual style-weaving of soul feeling, jazz phrasing, and improvisation together. Check his gorgeous vocal on Blanchard's "D's Choice," as he uses his own form of vocalese against the piano. His self-penned "When Will You Call," literally sounds like an inseparable weave of timeless standard and neo-soul tune. But it's on Scott's "Touched by an Angel" where he shines most. The horn section introduces the spare, elegant, lyric, Loueke paints the backdrop, and the rhythm section increases the tension until it all stops and begins again in a different harmonic structure with shifting chromatics. The band walks, whispers, and cries out until about four minutes in, where his silky, wordless, vocal caresses the tune out until West enters at the very end and says that "indifference is what makes the angels weep." No doubt about it, this is a radical set that might be best showcased in a live setting, but Blanchard's no stranger to new territory or to controversy, which is what has made him such a revered and celebrated figure in jazz no matter what he's composing or recording. Choices is a musically expansive, challenging recording that engages its title's subject matter critically and liberally without beating the listener over the head with it. It should appeal not only to jazzheads but open-minded music fans of all stripes. This set has plenty of class and sophistication, but it also speculatively reflects musical and intellectual history and mystery too. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Sony Classical

Let's Get Lost is a bit of a letdown when placed next to Blanchard's 2000 effort, Wandering Moon, which featured a blistering sextet playing original music. This album is a tribute to songwriter Jimmy McHugh, a pillar of Broadway and Hollywood throughout much of the first half of the 20th century. Blanchard takes extensive liberties with McHugh's songs and enlists four very well-known female vocalists to help him pull it off: Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves, and Cassandra Wilson. They appear on two songs apiece -- except for Krall, who leads off the album playing piano and singing only on the title track. Four of the 11 selections are instrumentals, featuring Blanchard with his regular band members Edward Simon (piano), Derek Nievergelt (bass), and Eric Harland (drums), with tenor saxophonist Brice Winston joining on three of the tunes. There are a number of gripping moments -- particularly Ed Simon's daredevil arrangement of "I'm in the Mood for Love," Cassandra Wilson's laid-back "Don't Blame Me," and Dianne Reeves's forlorn yet zesty "Can't Get Out of This Mood." But the come-and-go rotation of vocalists makes the album seem more like a variety show than a sustained creative exercise. Also, some of the arrangements don't really fit the songs. "Sunny Side of the Street," for instance, sounds cloudy indeed. © David R. Adler /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 17, 2017 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released July 16, 1993 | Columbia

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard continues to grow and develop with each year. He wrote the score for Malcolm X and this set finds him exploring 11 of his themes from the movie with his quintet (which also includes Sam Newsome on tenor, pianist Bruce Bath, bassist Tarus Matten and drummer Troy Davis). Many moods are explored and the fresh material really invigorates the quintet. Newsome's Trane-isms blend well with Blanchard (whose range has become quite impressive) and the performances (which easily stand apart from the film) are quite memorable. It's one of Terence Blachard's finest recordings. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 17, 1992 | 40 Acres And A Mule Musicworks

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 16, 2012 | Sony Classical

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Jazz - Released January 30, 1996 | Columbia

Although trumpeter Terence Blanchard gets first billing on this recording, it is very much a joint effort with singer-composer Ivan Lins. Not only are all 13 songs by Lins but he sings on all but the three instrumentals although sometimes just wordlessly in the background. Blanchard often harmonizes with Lins' voice, creating a melancholy and dreamy atmosphere. Most selections feature Blanchard's regular rhythm section of the time, augmented by Paulinho Da Costa's percussion and occasionally Oscar Castro-Neves' acoustic guitar. This CD, which is full of haunting ballads along with a few more jubilant numbers, serves as a superior introduction to Lins' music for jazz fans who might only be familiar with his "Love Dance." © Scott Yanow /TiVo