Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2007 Monterey Jazz Festival - Terrence Blanchard, A Tale of God's Will

Saturday evening's feature piece on the Jimmy Lyons Stage was the appearance of the Terrence Blanchard Quintet with the Monterey Jazz Festival Chamber Orchestra. Blanchard had just completed his year as the festival's Artist-in-residence. A month before, his CD "A Tale of God's Will - A Requiem for Katrina", was released to critical acclaim. The music of that CD was an extension of the soundtrack he had written for Spike Lee's documentary "When The Levees Broke". A New Orleans native, the work also carried deep personal significance for Blanchard.

Many had heard elements of this music as the backdrop for the documentary. In this West Coast Premiere performance, the majestic presence of the compositions was both deeply moving and emotional without being dreary or sad. To hear Terrence's background on the titles of the pieces completed the picture he was painting musically. The picture was vivid enough to prompt the comment, "I had no idea", from more than a few in attendance.

There is always one performance that is the talk of the festival each year. This performance was the center of conversation for both the 2007 and 2008 festivals.

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