Issue July 2, 2013

Magnetic

Terence Blanchard
BLUE NOTE

The buzz on trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s new album is almost deafening, and rightly so. Magnetic is a tour de force, featuring his working group (saxophonist Brice Winston, pianist Fabian Almazan, bassist Joshua Crumbly and drummer Kendrick Scott), with appearances by Ron Carter, Ravi Coltrane and Lionel Loueke. The urgent, fragmented rhythms of the title track kick off the album, with the mood changing on “Jacob’s Ladder,” a slow ballad. “Don’t Run” showcases Carter’s steady walking bass. “Pet Step Sitter’s Theme Song,” one of three compositions by Almazan, is a lengthy piece with shifting rhythms and a sense of organized chaos, downshifting at the end with Loueke’s wordless vocal. Blanchard’s “Hallucinations” is appropriately spacey, gradually unfolding. Blanchard’s playing, like that of his colleagues, is strong throughout, occasionally making great use of subtle electronics. This is superb, forward-thinking jazz.