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Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

“Reunion” was the watchword for the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which welcomed back five of its former artists-in-residence for the occasion. But one unwelcome reunion threatened the fest’s culminating performance on Labor Day, as storm clouds once again gathered prior to Stanley Clarke’s final set—as they had in both 2014 and 2017, when the … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival”

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Terence Blanchard: The Comedian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Blue Note)

Terence Blanchard’s soundtrack for The Comedian is a classic case of movie music that’s likely to be appreciated long after the film for which it was created is forgotten. When the Robert De Niro vehicle opened in February, it bombed both at the box office (ranked 21st in its opening week) and with the critics … Read More “Terence Blanchard: The Comedian (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Blue Note)”

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Terence Blanchard: Breathless

The riotously danceable cover of Les McCann’s classic “Compared to What” that opens Terence Blanchard’s Breathless sets up the counterintuitive mix of groove-oriented partying and protest to follow brilliantly. It also serves as fair warning to bop purists that Blanchard and his new band, the E-Collective, are exploring something different here. The protest can be … Read More “Terence Blanchard: Breathless”

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Terence Blanchard: Magnetic

Magnetic is Terence Blanchard’s return to the Blue Note label after an absence of six years. Its release coincides with the June 2013 premiere in St. Louis of Blanchard’s first opera, Champion. Magnetic is a small-group recording of uncommon richness, complexity and scope. It sounds like the work of a jazz musician who writes operas. … Read More “Terence Blanchard: Magnetic”

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Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard: Chano y Dizzy!

Chano was Chano Pozo, the Cuban-born conguero extraordinaire in Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestras until Pozo’s untimely death in 1948 at age 33. The first Latin percussionist in the Gillespie organization, he is generally credited with providing the influence-and the rhythms-that stimulated Gillespie to enthusiastically explore Afro-Cuban sounds. Poncho Sanchez, prolific Pozo disciple and master of the … Read More “Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard: Chano y Dizzy!”

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