09/12/13 By Ken V
Terence Blanchard opens SFJAZZ Season TWO in the new JAZZ CENTER
Blanchard puts on a tour de force performance
For Immediate Release
Terence Blanchard Band Opens Season Two at SFJAZZ
Thursday, September 5, 2013
By Ken Vermes
SFJAZZ could not have picked a more stirring, impressive and madly swinging band than Terence Blanchard for the opening of its second season. With its All Star young players playing like demons, the atmospheric and beautifully jagged melodies, the New Orleans smoke blowing in from the stage, and the idea that this music might be the very future of the art form, it was quite a show.
In another day, Terence might be dressed as a rock star, had giant videos playing, and had a troop of dancers and a final light show to close everything. But we live in a serious age and Terrence is a serious player. In his music he is dissecting a specific stream of great trumpet playing flowing directly from the school of Miles Davis, through Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw, directly from the horn of early modernist players as diverse as Stan Kenton and Monk. If this sounds like a large mix, it only a part of the jazz heritage and even classical influences that Terence filters on any given night.
The band was Justin Brown on drums, a player from Oakland California who began playing at age 2, Joshua Crumbly on bass, Cuban pianist and composer, Fabian Almazan, with special guest Lionel Looueke on guitar, and Ravi Coltrane on saxophone. And the bands delivery was far from an intellectual exercise. As Terence roamed the stage, hooked up to a wireless microphone and subtly using effects, he seemed to be pushing everyone to higher and higher grooves.
Terence should be celebrated more widely as one of the greatest talents in this music today. His achievements are well documented. But his powerful stage show is the real mark of a very soulful and powerful player of the highest degree. Everyone walked out of this show with an extra step and a giant smile. We had just witnessed a coming home of an art form that is far from sleeping. It is reaching even greater heights and depth. And its future is in very great hands indeed.
Terence has a new CD on Blue Note, titled Magnetic. Visit the SFJAZZ web site for the full schedule of shows and events.
201 Franklin Street at Fell
San Francisco, CA 94102
Full bar is available
Parking can be difficult on Symphony and Opera nights
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