The Austin Chronicle

Record Reviews

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, June 16, 2000, Music

Terence Blanchard

Wandering Moon (Sony Classical)

After parting ways with Columbia following 1996's misguided lark to Brazil, The Heart Speaks, Crescent City son Terence Blanchard killed a few years blowing Spike Lee joints before going all cinematic on last year's B-movie comeback of sorts Jazz in Film. Having settled into a handsome home at the free-thinking yet traditionally minded Sony Classical imprint, the 38-year-old young lion trumpeter roars back to the proud form of career-high horn delights like 1992's Simply Stated and '95's Romantic Defiance with the similarly aptly titled Wandering Moon. Purrs back to form, actually, Blanchard's oh-so Kind of Blue tone sauntering out under the "Luna Viajera" on the opening cut and never coming back inside from out under the stars. With the gravitational pull of David Holland's earthbound bass, and the tenor reeds of Branford Marsalis and Brice Winston breezing in night, Blanchard roams restless through laid-back modern bop ("If I Could, I Would," "Joe & O"), Fifties-style back-alley tones ("Sweet's Dream"), and timeless classics (Johnny Mercer & Jimmy Van Heusen's "I Thought About You"). On moody originals like "My Only Thought of You" and "Simplemente Simon," Blanchard & Co. conjure a time when jazz was less concerned with innovation than it was with emotionally resonant sounds. Call it retro-Clifford Brown or Miles Davis, but who better to evoke than horn players with clarion timbre? A timeless sound, like a trumpet praying up to that old Wandering Moon.


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