Monday, October 5, 2009

Mad About Music Monday - Terence Blanchard Group 'Choices'

To kick off this first week of October we have the newest work from the Grammy Award winning jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard. He is a New Orleans native releasing his second New Orleans themed album post Hurricane Katrina. His first was A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina). In this first album his band performed with the 40-piece Northwest Sinfonia, and took home the Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble in 2007.

Terence has also scored over 40 films most of which were Spike Lee films. He began with work on Jungle Fever and appeared most recently in the four-part HBO New Orleans/Katrina documentary "When the Levees Broke", and the non-Spike Lee period piece Cadillac Records. Here is a small clip of his Salute to Jazz at this year's Grammy's.

Here you can follow the progression of their latest release "Choices." This playlist features five webisodes highlighting the evolution of this album from concepts, beats and melodies into a melting pot of jazz, blues, and spoken word. This album features neo-soul singer Bilal and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West. Dr. West's interview in the fourth webisode is remarkable and I highly suggest you take the time to watch that below. To quote Terence, "The thing that I love about him is that he has the ability to put into words things that we all feel about, but don't know how to put into a concrete idea."

After watching the webisodes you're left wanting to hear more and see for yourself how all of the music turned out. Below I have embedded The Terence Blanchard Group performing on the Tavis Smiley show about one month ago. Listen to the words of Dr. West meld together with the music as it rises and falls with each solo and movement. So here is two songs from The Terence Blanchard Group performing songs from their new album, "Choices".


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