Terence Blanchard: A New World (Created Inside The Walls Of Imagination)


A New World (Created Inside The Walls Of Imagination)


Terence Blanchard (trumpet)


Choices (Concord Jazz CJA-31736-02)

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Terence Blanchard (trumpet), Lionel Loueke (guitar), Derrick Hodge (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums, percussion),

Walter Smith III (saxophone), Dr. Cornel West (vocals), Bilal (vocals), Fabian Almazan (piano)


Composed by Derrick Hodge


Recorded: New Orleans, March 5-8 2009


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

As Dr. Cornel West’s social commentary from the prior, spoken voice track fades out, Scott’s second line beat and Almazan’s persistent note comes into focus. There are no chord changes in this song, but like a good vegetable soup, the meat isn’t needed if the spices are doing its job well enough. There’s a slippery, horn-led theme that’s inserted into the song twice, but that chord stays.

In between the themes, Blanchard rides the Big Easy rhythm like the old pro that he is---more like the old Orleanian that he is--blowing notes in the freewheeling style of a jazz parade, his languid pace placing him back in the very Crescent City from whence he came. Loueke’s unique wah-wah guitar intonations compete against the trumpeter, providing the friction that keeps the easygoing vibe from getting rote. And then there’s the urgency that comes from Almazan’s persistent note; symbolic, perhaps, of the challenges that must be faced in the new world as described by Dr. West.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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