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Wandering Moon

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Album Review

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, Rovi


Born: 13 March 1962 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the post-Wynton Marsalis era, jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard has become a most prominent brass player, bandleader, recording artist, orchestrator of film scores, and leader in the mainstream post-bop community. Born on March 13, 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana, Terence Oliver Blanchard was an only child to parents Wilhelmina and Joseph Oliver Blanchard. He began playing piano by the age of five, switched to trumpet three years later, and played alongside childhood friend Marsalis in summer band...
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Wandering Moon, Terence Blanchard
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