Friday, March 12, 2010


Terrence Blanchard Last night, was the first time I heard you speak openly about composing film scores. You're an articulate guy, I left with the impression that writing music for films is your second love. When I got wind you're performing music from your album "Jazz in Film" with the Wayne State University Jazz Orchestra Friday night at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit, I cleared my schedule, which amounted to canceling date night with my spouse so I could attend the concert. If you're wondering why I didn't bring her, I will take a minute to explain. She's not a jazz fan at all.

She's into neo-soul and R&B. In a heart beat, she'd dump me to run off with Brian McKnight or Eric Benet. She tolerates jazz because it is important to me. I tried to convert her many years ago but I failed miserably. Now and then, she'd accompany me to jazz concerts. That all changed shortly after the minister pronounced us husband and wife. The ink had not dried on our marriage license when she quit going. I'm not kidding you.

There's an upside to her aversion. I never have to worry about her fooling around with my jazz albums. Honestly, Terrence, I should have known attempting to convert her wouldn't pan out when I took her to hear saxophonist James Carter and she fell asleep during the first set. Aside from her disinterest in jazz, she's a loving wife. That’s all a man really needs.

Anyway, I enjoyed listening to you talk about the science of scoring film, and how you approach it. You explained the process in such a way the average Joe could understand it. I was concerned the orchestra would have a difficult time keeping up with you. You're on the same level the greats Clark Terry, and Miles Davis. However, the conductor Christopher Collins had the WSU jazz orchestra in tiptop form.

On "Degas' Racing World" the orchestra swung so hard they tousled the hair of the women seated to my right. When the tune ended they looked as if they were driving with the top down on a windy day. Man, on "The Pawnbroker," you blew with such fire I thought you’re going to burn a hole in the stage. I appreciate how you treated tenor saxophonist Levi Jensen when you both traded measures on "Anatomy of a Murder".

You could've blown the lad out the building. Instead of embarrassing him you challenged him, and he held his own, I bet he bragged to his friend that he survived standing toe-to-toe with the great Terrence Blanchard. I know it was hard for you to hold back, but allowing the lad the room to shine did a world of good for his confidence. I heard the concert was organized on a whim. I was shocked because it was so well organized and jam-packed I figured it took months to organize and promote.
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