Anyone expecting Terence Blanchard to rest on his laurels, comfortably ensconced in the lucrative world of motion picture scoring, better think again. Though his abiding interest in film scoring is evidenced by his continuing ascension to the A list of the genre, and his beautifully crafted journey through a program of film classics on last year's superior Sony record was clear evidence of his immersion in that world, Blanchard remains a jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer to his core. All three attributes are in stout form on this latest date for Sony Classical.
Collaborators include his regular bandmates pianist Edward Simon, saxophonists Brice Winston and young Aaron Fletcher and drummer Eric Harland. For added spice and challenge he brings onboard the great veteran bassist Dave Holland and his peer homey Branford Marsalis on tenor sax. Such a cast would have to really stumble to disappoint, and they remain upright throughout. There is a handsome, dusky quality to this date, rather like a rich black coffee or that mahogany table you've been coveting, as Blanchard explores a fine palette of moods and colors, with one contribution from Simon, the intrepid "The Process," and the evergreen "I Thought About You." The rest is pure Blanchard.