Terence Blanchard: Innocence
Terence Blanchard (trumpet)
Bounce (Blue Note 83189)
Brice Winston (soprano sax), Aaron Parks (piano), Robert Glasper (Fender Rhodes), Brandon Owens (bass), Eric Harland (drums).
Composed by Brandon Owens.
Recorded: New York, February 16-19, 2003
Rating: 91/100 (learn more)
Former Jazz Messenger and Spike Lee soundtrack star Terence Blanchard really stepped into the jazz spotlight with his masterful 2003 Blue Note debut, Bounce. Not only were the leader's ever-improving trumpet chops and compositional elegance on wonderful display, but the cohesiveness and collective creativity in his outstanding group is a testament to his bandleading skills as well. Bassist Brandon Owens's "Innocence," melodically simple and heartbreakingly gorgeous, is just one of this album's many highlights. With three chordal instruments, one might expect some toes to be stepped on, but such is not the case. Parks, Glasper and Loueke know their roles and those of their individual instruments: Parks's acoustic piano is the main accompanying voice; Loueke unobtrusively slides in and out with well-timed accentual flourishes; and Glasper's richly sonorous Fender Rhodes adds a sustained, underlying harmonic bedrock. Parks's comping behind Winston's soprano solo is majestic and brilliant, especially considering he was not even 20 at the time. Blanchard's Bounce set high standards and must be held as an esteemed benchmark for 21st-century jazz.
Reviewer: Matt Leskovic