Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, World Music, Jazz, Miscellaneous, Pop
The timing could not be better for Terrence Blanchard's Blue Note debut release, Bounce. At age 41, Terence Blanchard joins fellow label mates and friends who, like him, have matured into modern standard-bearers, each with... more »
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The timing could not be better for Terrence Blanchard's Blue Note debut release, Bounce. At age 41, Terence Blanchard joins fellow label mates and friends who, like him, have matured into modern standard-bearers, each with their own take on jazz tradition and their own particular interests. With Bounce, Blanchard convenes a diverse group of talented young musicians, all of whom help highlight the many facets of his musical vision. The music on Bounce doesn't stay in one place, and it exemplifies Blanchard's style, which prompted People Magazine to comment: "Blanchard's virtues spring from his sense of restraint. The joy is in the tease!" Blanchard has had successes in film music, orchestras and education, and of course as a jazz musician and bandleader. "Nothing can beat being a jazz musician, playing a club, playing a concert," he says. "When I stood next to Sonny Rollins at Carnegie Hall and listened to him play, that was it for me." Terence Blanchard- Trumpet
Brice Winston: Tenor & Soprano Saxophone; Lionel Loueke: Guitar & Vocals; Robert Glasper: Hammond -3 & Fender Rhodes; Aaron Parks: Piano; Brandon Owens: Bass; Eric Harland: Drums
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Sometimes it takes a while for genius to emerge . . .
Jan P. Dennis | Monument, CO USA | 09/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
". . . More than twenty years in the case of Terence Blanchard. He's always had the chops; that was clear from his Messenger days. He's made some pretty good records over the years (Jazz in Film, Wandering Moon, Malcolm X Jazz Suite), but nothing mind-blowing.Bounce, his latest, not only vaults him to the absolute top level of jazz musicians, leaders, composers, and arrangers, it is certainly one of the very best jazz discs in a year of one brilliant recording after another.How did he do it? A number of things work together to make this release finally demonstrate his musical genius. First, the core of this band (Blanchard, Brice Winston, ts. & ss., and Eric Harland, d) has been together for about four years. In that time, they've arrived at a level of musical interaction and conversation reserved for only the greatest jazz groups, e.g., the Standards Trio and the Dave Holland Quintet. Second, the new band members added since Wandering Moon--Aaron Parks, p., Brandon Owens, b., Robert Glasper, keys, and esp. Lionel Loueke, g.--bring a nu groove, a rhythmic loose-limbness, exotic coloration, and swinging tunes previously not found or only partially realized on past Blanchard discs. Third, the move to Blue Note obviously helped. The band's sound signature fairly jumps out of the speakers--perhaps a combination of better technology and the veteran Michael Cuscuna on board as co-producer.In any case, a Terence Blanchard record has NEVER sounded like this before. There's a huge joyous, ebullient, good-time vibe all over this disc. Yet there's also pathos, zaniness, and some wicked funk happening. With such a broad musical palette, one might think things would be too all over the place, too eclectic. Amazingly, there's a definite Blanchard band sound no matter which jazz sub-genre they play in.I'm a little surprised this disc wasn't called "Transform," the title of the most amazing cut on this record, and one of the most remarkable jazz performances I've ever heard. It would be an entirely suitable title for what's happening here--the transformation of mere jazz into something beyond category, the transformation of a solid player with an impressive resume into a monster jazzman. It probably wasn't called that because it's an Eric Harland tune, not the leader's."Transform" starts out innocently enough with Brandon Owen laying down a cool bass vamp. When Eric Harland comes in after a couple measures all over his kit, followed by Parks with some gorgeous Toto/Bruce Hornsby-styled piano figures, then Blanchard stating the ravishing melody and Winston adding tasty harmony, things start to really cook. All the while, there's this deep African Township/Malian groove, driven by killer ensemble work as well as Aaron Parks's happily percussive pianisms and kalimba-sounding plunkings from Loueke on guitar. Next, Blanchard tears into his most brilliant and satisfying solo ever. Things mellow slightly until Winston launches into his slow-burning-but-eventually-all-out monster solo on tenor. Just when you think that can't be topped, Parks uncorks some incredible single note piano ideas, sounding like a cross between early Keith Jarrett and Bruce Hornsby on steroids. The band returns for some more stunning ensemble playing before Eric Harland literally explodes all over his kit, delivering a stunning yet entirely tasty drum solo (it is, after all, his tune). One final burst with everyone wailing, the piece fades, and I'm sitting in my chair stunned, bowled over, drained--and quickly reaching for the repeat button.And though "Transform" stands out by virtue of its melodic and rhythmic brilliance, the exceptional level of ensemble playing and soloing, the sheer beauty of its sonic conception and execution, there are many other great numbers on the disc as well: "On the Verge," a mesmerizing Latin-tinged number penned by pianist Parks that opens the disc; a brilliant but slightly goofy hip-hop version of Wayne Shorter's "Footprints"; "Passionate Courage" and "Innocence," two absolutely beautiful ballads; and "Azania," a rollicking number that would've sounded entirely at home in Don Pullen's wonderful Afro-Brazilian band.I don't know if I've ever written such a superlative-loaded review as this; actually, I'm kinda speechless after listening to this marvelous music for practically three days straight. If this isn't the best jazz release of this year, it certainly for me is the most unexpected, and, I must say, one of the most welcome."
D. Bartholome | Highlands, TX USA | 01/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an earlier reviewer stated, Blanchard has recorded a number of fine albums, but this is the best. The compositions and arrangements are strong, the ensemble playing is flawless, the solos--from all players--range from good to mind-blowing. This album finds the sweet spot between adherence to tradition and openness to modernity.
Please ignore those who say that a couple of the cuts sound like smooth jazz; they don't. The most you could say is that a couple of the cuts bear a superficial similarity to smooth jazz, in the same sense that some of Pat Metheny's music bears a superfical similarity to New Age. But if you can't hear the difference between Terence Blanchard and Dave Koz, or the difference between Pat Metheny and Yanni, then God help you."