Wandering Moon

Wandering Moon

by Terence Blanchard
     
 
In recent years, Terence Blanchard has released the excellent concept albums THE HEART SPEAKS (1996), an interpretative collaboration with Brazilian composer-singer Ivan Lins, and JAZZ IN FILM (1999), on which he rescored and rearranged nine

Overview

In recent years, Terence Blanchard has released the excellent concept albums THE HEART SPEAKS (1996), an interpretative collaboration with Brazilian composer-singer Ivan Lins, and JAZZ IN FILM (1999), on which he rescored and rearranged nine movie soundtrack classics with the help of an A-list ensemble. With WANDERING MOON, the 38-year-old trumpeter, an old hand at balancing the prerequisites of performing and composition, returns to original music, mixing members of his working band (Brice Winston, tenor sax; Aaron Fletcher, alto sax; Ed Simon, piano; Eric Harland, drums) with guest stars Branford Marsalis on tenor and Dave Holland on bass. The result is one of Blanchard's most satisfying sessions, one that blends the increasing maturity and sophistication of the leader's numerous soundtracks (MO BETTER BLUES, X, CLOCKERS) with a no-holds-barred improvisational attitude.
At this point, Blanchard seems able to execute almost any idea that enters his mind; he articulates with seamless fluency, swings with deft ease at all tempos, projects a rich sound throughout the trumpet's range, inflects phrases with deep emotion. Marsalis -- a New Orleanian who joined Blanchard on his eponymously titled inaugural recording and has appeared on numerous Blanchard soundtracks -- is an exemplary foil, while Holland and drum phenom Harland conjure deep, interlocking grooves with attention to minutest detail. The ever-maturing Simon, one of the strongest pianists of his generation, comps with intuitive intelligence and rhythmic ingenuity, solos compositionally with passionate elegance.It's hard to single out any one track on this consistent and diverse session. Blanchard has had a singular voice for some time; it's never appeared with such resonance as on WANDERING MOON.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998911123
catalogNumber:
89111

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