Terence Blanchard: Left Alone
Terence Blanchard (trumpet)
The Billie Holiday Songbook (Columbia 57793)
Terence Blanchard (trumpet),
Bruce Barth ( piano), Chris Thomas (bass), Troy Davis (drums), orchestra conducted by Oscar Castro-Neves and Miles Goodman.
Composed by Billie Holiday and Mal Waldron.
Recorded: New York, October 27 & 28th, 1993
Rating: 97/100 (learn more)
Terence Blanchard has a recognized flair for arranging. He can skillfully extract pathos from the music when film directors like Spike Lee call upon him to score a motion picture or punctuate a particular scene. We can sometimes forget he is also a trumpet player who can be incredibly expressive on his horn when he is inspired by the music.
In this 1993 album, lovingly dedicated to the music of Billie Holiday, Blanchard exposes us to his romantic side, laid bare by his unabashed love for the music of Lady Day. Accompanied by full orchestra, Blanchard’s trumpet on the bittersweet Mal Waldron composition “Left Alone” is pure inspiration. His warm tone and emotionally laden delivery perfectly communicates the forlorn quality that Holiday did with her voice when she made the song her own. Bruce Barth plays a bluesy piano solo at the break that is equally emotive. The swelling strings maybe off-putting to some purists, but I found them quite complimentary to the whole production. At the finale, a scorching, slurring Blanchard trails off mike in a blistering demonstration of rare unrestrained high register bravado. A welcome look into what this artist can do when the spirit moves him.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello