Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Terence Blanchard - Let's Get Lost (2001)

Terence Blanchard is undoubtedly one of the top jazz performers of our time, regardless of instrument. However, I don't care much for his original material. I much prefer releases in which he interprets other writers' works (e.g., 1994's The Billie Holliday Songbook and 1996's The Heart Speaks). This album is a tribute to songwriter Jimmy McHugh, a pillar of Broadway and Hollywood throughout much of the first half of the 20th century. This CD is outstanding not just in the interpretations, arrangements and production (all are flawless), but Blanchard has surrounded himself with four very well-known female vocalists to help him pull it off: Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves, and Cassandra Wilson. They appear on two songs apiece — except for Krall, who leads off the album playing piano and singing only on the title track. The best of these are Wilson and the young Monheit, who has a voice perfectly suited to the material. Blanchard's tone, as always, is pure, clean and sweet. I was introduced to several McHugh songs that I hadn't heard before. This is one of my favorite late-night CD's.

Tracks: Although a little inconsistent in the middle, it's a good album as a whole and should be listened to from start to finish without skipping. The standout tracks, though, are Too Young To Go Steady, Don't Blame Me, I Can't Give You Anything But Love, and On The Sunny Side Of The Street.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: Around the time of this release, I took members of the high school jazz band to hear Blanchard's Quintet at the University of Houston. That field trip was probably the last time I ever did anything like that.

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