I have learned something about my current readers… They love the classic rock. When my posts are straight forward and mainstream, they will come. When I try to push a new band or genre, they’re not as willing to join in on the journey.
Since one of my goals was to introduce new music and bands, this can be tough and frustrating. But I will not back down… I will not give in. We are almost 1/3 of the way there, and as my readers grow, I will continue to talk about great music, no matter who is making it or where it comes from. There is so much out there worth listening to, so give me an open heart and open ears, and I promise I will help to fill them with glorious sounds, lush notes and magical music.
Terence Blanchard – A Tale of God’s Will (Requiem For Katrina)
When I saw Terence Blanchard at the Hollywood Bowl last year, I was blown away. I had heard his music but had never seen him live, and when he takes the stage… Wow! I was particularly struck by his song “Ashé.” It was something so moving and spectacular that I immediately sought it out as soon as I got home. It is from this album, of course, but when I went to play it the other day, the whole album was gone from my iTunes. Just gone. How odd.
Now it’s back and is another source of comfort, in an ironic sort of way. I have never been to New Orleans, which is a total crime. My goal is to get there for the Jazz Fest one of these years… no desire to go for the debauchery of Mardi Gras. From what I hear, the city is still hurting… but more importantly, the city is still and was always divided. According to most, it is one of those places that is really delineated between rich and poor, black and white… with no real middle ground. DC is the same way, it seems. At least that was my observation. A woman who was from New Orleans and sat behind us at the Playboy Jazz Fest said it was dead on right. We seem to be moving more towards a class system, which is a scary thing.
This is what makes the soothing quality of this album so ironic. It is astoundingly, deeply and incredibly moving. The previously mentioned “Ashé” is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard… EVER. This song just kills me and moves me to tears every time I hear it. In fact, I just hit replay. I am or should be speechless… I’ll get back to you in 8 minutes and 19 seconds…
Terence calls this album a requiem, and with that, and our knowledge of all that happened in the wake of Katrina, there is a real sadness, a deep sadness for the loss and ugliness. Poverty actually killed a great number of people because they had no phones, no way to communicate and no money to escape a horrible fate. Katrina will hopefully teach us a great many things, but it is hard, if not impossible to ignore this bitter memory and all that was lost.
I hope people will seek this album out. It is such a significant piece of work. Terrence is one of those rare musicians who can move seamlessly through genres and mediums. The music he does for Spike Lee’s films, pop and of course jazz are on another level. His time on the Bowl stage this year was short, at least on the day I saw him, but so impactful.
This album, too will take you to another place, a better place. Hell, I’m there right now.
Eyes closed, ears open, heart full. Thank you, Terence Blanchard. Thank you.