Since his days as the musical director of the 1980s-era of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Terence Blanchard has been a leading figure in the modern jazz movement. I’m sure that many of us are well-acquainted with much of his work throughout the three decades. In recent years, he has been keeping himself remarkably busy with a constant slew of original film and TV scores, including the 2012 picture “Red Tails,” which was executively produced by George Lucas. Now, Blanchard returns to the renowned Blue Note Records with his latest studio album, Magnetic.
The aggregation of over 50 soundtrack credits as composer as left a clearly discernible mark on the musical sensibilities of this esteemed trumpeter. Although Magnetic has distinct roots in the jazz tradition that he has become known for, it does not hesitate to travel through whole new realms of sound that had not previously been explored. These voyages are by no means an unwelcome change, however. They instead add a keen edge of heterogeneity that elevates the album towards a much greater plane of musical excellence.