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A Tale of God's Will by Terence Blanchard

Terrence Blanchard has charisma and the power to make sounds that are strong and entrapping, sound that roots itself in the soul. "Ghost of Congo Square" speaks to charisma but it is the charisma of African music and dance, African tongues, African rhythms and how they became American Creole. Terrence Blanchard said to Lolis Elie that "The Souls of Congo Square.... understand better than we do how a story such as this one unfolds in the end."

"The Levees" which is Terrence’s second song on A Tale of God’s Will, has all the power of a Greek tragedy. Everybody knew they were the Achilles’ heal of the city and that their breach would be fatal. People who should of known they weren’t protected or up to job did nothing but as Terrence says to Lolis Elie in the liner notes, before a storm hits the weather cools, The winds gentle. New Orleans feels big and easy." This is known to the gulf coast to be a call to action, but it was treated as relief from the summer heat.

In "Wading Through," there is a nostalgic feeling, sadness mixed with memory in a way that is bittersweet, but it is early in the process and nostalgia is about to be replaced with foreboding, and the sense of abandonment. The President is not coming to rally the troops, A billion dollars of charity is not flooding in with the mud..."Ashé", track four, is the Yoruba word for "and so it shall be." It is acceptance, the state to be reached before the community can rebuild. It is the state in which optimism can begin to return, it is the place from where the determined can set the new cornerstone for the city.

Terence Blanchard A Tale of God’s Will is at times melancholy but never self pitying. Terence pays his respects to One of America’s five greatest cities, but he does so ignoring the rest and only eulogizing his home, this is just. America abandoned New Orleans, and only her sons and daughters have the right to speak about her death, their mourning and the city’s rebirth. The album is built like a piece of classical symphonic music music, it is layered and contextual. It is complex and while not at all stiff it does not have a jam session feel at any point. The album is played by six master musicians, with support from the Northwest Sinfonia conducted by Terence Blanchard. The nine songs that follow need to be listened to, not described. Describing them is boring, listening to them is something completely different. There are few albums in the cannon of America’s secular spiritual music that can compare to this one. It will define the way we hear New Orleans for years to come.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Terence Blanchard
  • CD Title: A Tale of Gods Will'
  • Genre: Various Jazz Styles
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Blue Note
  • Tracks: Ghost of Congo Square, Levees, Wading Through, Ashe, In Time of Need, Ghost of Betsy, The Water, Mantra Intro, Mantra, Over There, Ghost of 1927, Funeral Dirge and Dear Mom
  • Musicians: Terence Blanchard (trumpet), Arron Parks (piano), Brice Winston (saxophone), Derrick Hodge (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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