Terence Blanchard Flow on 2LP
Remastered & Reissued as Part of the Blue Note 75th Anniversary Vinyl Reissue Campaign
Produced by Herbie Hancock, 2005's Flow was Grammy winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard's rambunctiously heated answer to those unenlightened few who doubted that this chill master of the urbane film score (Mo' Better Blues, Malcolm X, Barbershop) could get down. Indeed, Flow not only showcases Blanchard's prodigious instrumental and composing skills; it reveals him to be both a shrewd judge of young talent and a bandleader of Milesian dimension and magnitude as well. Mixing-blending-elevating-dancing their way through Flow's ten compositions are Brice Winston on saxophone and Yamaha WX5; Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals; Aaron Parks on piano; Derrick Hodge on bass; Kendrick Scott on drums; Howard Drossin on synth programming.
"Flow Parts I, II and III" are interspersed throughout the album-alternatively passionate, fulminous and mournful-sounding, this tonal triptych is the album's serendipitous dominant theme. "We were sitting in the studio and I said, "Man, we need another tune. Derrick started playing that rhythm on his bass and we just followed up on it. I played my solo, then when it got to Lionel it became a whole 'nother thing, y'know? At the end, Herbie suggested that this piece be broken up into three separate movements and spread across the record."
"Wadagabe" is a mini-suite at 16-plus minutes. The Intro is filled with billowing winds of synthesizer, congas, kora-like guitar plucking/fretting, disembodied voices and Lionel speaking in African tongues that evaporate into the main piece's swirling, ever-rising congress of thunder 'n' lightning drums/cymbals, pithy guitar-keyboard chordal counterpoint; with Brice's Yamaha WX5 (an electronic wind instrument) throwing tart soprano/wood flute spirals, feverish shamanic chants and Terence's fiery runs.
"Benny's Tune" and "The Source" feature Herbie's trademark pianism. The former is a darkly melodic, shimmering ballad sounding straight out of Herbie's early-'70s Mwandishi period; the latter, a rhythmically roiling yet harmonically soothing jazz waltz. The Latin-tinged "Wandering Wonder" gives each member a chance to shine brightly. "It fits into the concept of what this band has been doing but I wrote it back in the '80s," muses Mr. B. "I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but the band I had back then couldn't play it the way this band is playing it. The way these guys tackled the stuff, man, they play it like they're playing "Mary Had A Little Lamb!" Like second nature.
"Over There" is a heartbreakingly plaintive lullaby that is caressed, stroked and soothed to a poignant sweetness by TB's sumptuously emotive trumpeting. The ruminative "Child's Play" tastes of '60s-era Miles and '80s Woody Shaw yet feels totally modern-Terence Blanchard circa 2005. The indigo, mood-swinging blend of Iberian-evoking, quiet-to-loud-to-quiet-again modal dynamics, soulfully ethereal keyboards and spine-shivering guitar extrapolations of "Harvest Dance" ends Flow on a triumphant note.
Terence Blanchard (trumpet)
Brice Winston (saxophone, Yamaha WX5)
Lionel Loueke (guitar, vocals)
Aaron Parks (piano)
Derrick Hodge (bass)
Kendrick Scott (drums)
Howard Drossin (synth programming)
• Remastered and reissued as part of the Blue Note 75th anniversary vinyl reissue campaign
• Vinyl initiative spearheaded by current Blue Note Records President, Don Was, to include 100 essential Blue Note albums
• Includes special Blue Note 75 vinyl sleeve that features album cover art for 75 Blue Note titles
• First run of vinyl to include Blue Note 75th logo on back of package
• Key to the Blue Note 75th anniversary vinyl reissue campaign is the creation of high quality audio at an affordable price
• All year long Blue Note will celebrate their iconic artists and the history of the label with various events, digital initiatives, vinyl campaigns and more
Terence Blanchard Flow Track Listing:
1. Flow, Pt. 1
2. Wadagbe (Intro)
4. Benny's Tune
5. Wandering Wonder
6. Flow, Pt. 2
7. The Source
8. Over There
9. Child's Play
10. Flow, Pt. 3
11. Harvesting Dance