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Music and the Creative Spirit

Terence Blanchard: Requiem for Katrina

By Published: January 8, 2009

I see a community that is coming together in ways that haven't been there in a long, long time. So that's a really great thing ... Maybe we had to go through all of this to really determine what is really valuable in life.

During a brief period of four years, two events took place that could define how world history will view America during the early part of the 21st century. The first was 9/11 and the other, Hurricane Katrina. But perhaps most surprising from a global point of view, was how powerless America appeared to be in helping its own citizens who were left destitute during the aftermath of Katrina.

How could the United States, the nation who has been there to support others globally in a time of need, appear so uncaring and insensitive towards its very own people? The question, "What has happened to America?" rang out throughout the world during those dark hours and continues to echo as a new president and administration come into office.

Perhaps one of the most empathetic and compassionate memoirs in reverence to the people of New Orleans came from the brilliant composer and trumpeter, Terence Blanchard. His recording, A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (Blue Note, 2007), speaks loudly, though without words, reflecting the pain and frustration of people that were forgotten during their greatest time of need.

All About Jazz spoke to Blanchard with interviews that took place on Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 of 2007. Though it has now been a little over a year since the interviews took place, the importance and weight of these words still resonate more today than ever before.

All About Jazz: Is the pain and passion in the recording, "A Tale of God's Will" (Requiem for Katrina) for the people of New Orleans?

Terrence Blanchard: It's a passion for the people of New Orleans and it's a cry of frustration for all our hopes and dreams. It's a sense that we have had enough and we are not going to take it anymore. What else can happen? We have been embarrassed as a nation and I could go on and on and on.

AAJ: There also seems to be a telling peacefulness with a suggested common understanding that we do understand, that we still have each other, in a certain gospel sense.

TB: Well, that's exactly it, that's exactly it. Because at the end of the day, when people ask me why it's called A Tale of God's Will, I say look: when we all came back to New Orleans for the first time and saw the level of devastation, our hearts were broken. We all asked ourselves how this could have happened. Why did this have to happen and who is responsible? You end up going through the whole scenario and you don't get answers to most of the questions. And the only thing you can rest with is your faith and a sense of family because here is the deal about Katrina: Katrina didn't give a shit about how much money you made or who you were. We were all put into the same boat in a matter of hours, all of us.

There was an amazing moment during the Higher Ground benefit that took place at the Lincoln Center (Jazz at Lincoln Center's Higher ground Hurricane Relief benefit, Sept. 17, 2007, an all-star jazz event). There were all these musicians from New Orleans who were performing, but very few heard any of the night's performances. And that's because we were all backstage wondering how we and our families were doing. Where are you living now? Are you going back? And that was the mantra that was heard and we only went to the stage when it was time for us to play. So the sense of community in what you are talking about had already begun.

AAJ: One of the most touching moments in Spike Lee's movie, "When the Levee's Broke" was when you walked with your mother as she went back into her home for the first time after Katrina. I hope so much that she is doing OK.

TB: Thanks for asking. She is back in her house and doing fine. But it was a hard scene to do, it was real life and it was difficult to walk through that. When you get to the point of having to take care of your parents, you become your parents so to speak and you don't want to allow anything to hurt them. So it was really rough being in that situation.

AAJ: On Oct. 12, 2007, it was reported that of the $1.1 billion that was needed in order to start rebuilding New Orleans, only $216 million was available. That was after two years and is less than what is spent in Iraq in one day.

TB: Of course, and that's a large part of the frustration that we have. There is an arrogance that the average American person is stupid and cannot decipher what is going on. That we are lacking in intelligence and cannot comprehend. It's like the "emperor has no clothes" kind of thing. I mean, do you really think that we cannot put two and two together? We are spending over $900 billion in Iraq and you can't even give a fraction of that to build the infrastructure of this city?

AAJ: The aftermath of Katrina is one of the most embarrassing moments in our history and again continues to reflect how we treat African-Americans in this country.

TB: I don't mean to cut you off but let me tell you a story. I recently went to South Africa for the second time. The first was in Johannesburg and the second was in Cape Town. And while I was in Cape Town, I ran into a guy that I originally met in Johannesburg. His name is Benji and Benji is a big jazz fan. As he was walking with his wife, I said, "How are you doing Benji?" And he said, "Man, life is great! I flew on the plane to come to Cape Town. I'm here with my wife and I'm walking around going to the jazz festival and talking to all these jazz musicians."

And while he is talking to me, I'm noticing all his joy and happiness so I said to him, "Benji, with everything you guys have gone through how can you be this happy?" He then explained that when he was a little kid, he would run to a park but his father would grab him and tell him that he could not go to this park and that would make him cry. They would also smuggle in jazz magazines because they couldn't get the CDs and would read the reviews to try and imagine what the music sounded like. He would also look at the sky and watch the planes fly overhead and always wondered what it was like to fly and that's why he was so excited about flying on this plane. So I asked him where his joy came from, and do you know what he said to me? He said, "It comes from our leader, Mandela. He told the entire country that though what we went through was horrible and unthinkable, we must get over it because we have to move on."

That rings so hard because I am saying to myself: this is a great example of what leadership can do for a country. And that had nothing to do with signing a check, nothing to do with bureaucracy and it had nothing to do with getting something passed through Congress. It was a mere attitude that was displayed at the top and had a trickle affect all the way down.

AAJ: I want to read you this quote. "So many of the people here in the Astrodome, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them." That's from Barbara Bush. What went through your mind when you first heard that while knowing that the people in the Astrodome had not received food, water or medical attention for five days?

TB: Al Sharpton made a very astute comment and observation on that. This is the president's mother making those comments and that's the mindset that she still has even after her husband has left public life. This is not before he is in public office. This is years after and she still thinks and talks that way. And it's the type of arrogance that we are still dealing with in this country and that's why we had the situation we had after Katrina.

There wasn't any medical attention, water, or food, but during the fires in San Diego (October 2007), they were handing out suntan lotion. That contrast is stark and unforgiving. In my mind, forget about politics because the country knew it was a life-and-death issue but amazingly, not our United States leadership. And when I talk about leadership, I'm not only talking about the president. I'm also talking about the mayor, and the governor and everybody else down the line. And the political leaders who talk about "In God We Trust." They too will meet their maker one day.

AAJ: There are those that are unsympathetic toward the victims of Katrina because their perception is that people should have left when they were warned in advance. But they obviously don't realize the level of poverty in the south and this is in our own country. As an example, there are over 100,000 people in New Orleans that don't own their own vehicles. I just don't think that most people have any idea and the film "When the Levees Broke" helped bring this to life.

TB: Well that's the thing about Katrina that woke everybody up. It's like: OK, now our little secret is out in the open. When people visit New Orleans they visit the French Quarter, they go uptown and though we still have crime in those areas, for the most part it's like every other city in America. But in the film, the cameras were focused in many different portions of the city and you couldn't hide the poverty anymore.

AAJ: Most American citizens don't realize that because the people of New Orleans could not get help from our own federal government, community leaders such as Harry Belafonte tried to acquire help from the leaders of other countries, such as in South America. I'm not even sure that a person who is not African-American could possibly understand the pain and frustration that must be associated with that.

TB: When Harry Belafonte took that step, the media machine went into action. Consequently, one of the things that is really doing a disservice to our country is how we spin the media. When (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chavez wanted to send people and equipment to New Orleans to help, there are those that wanted to make it a political issue. Now at that particular point in time, I didn't really give a damn about Chavez's political motives. Do you know what I mean? I could care less because the (U.S.) wasn't helping, so somebody needed to.

But we have this "either or" mentality in the media and it's doing us a serious disservice. When there is an issue brought up in the media, there are usually two opposing views being given but there is a no resolution attitude and that doesn't teach the country how to resolve issues. When you watch any news program, and I mean any news program other than Bill Moyer's or the "Daily Show," when anything comes up, there are always two opposing sides, like the country only has two opposing views on any issue in this country. That's ludicrous! There should be "think tanks" with people from various walks of life that debate issues on television. But that's laughable, right? It doesn't make any sense. But what happens is that we have leaders who have learned to be skillful liars on television and they are selling the public a bill of goods that doesn't exist. They should be ashamed of themselves.

AAJ: Would there have been a think tank if the damage had been from a terrorist attack?

TB: If it would have been due to a terrorist attack, the media machine would have thrown up its hands and would have received more money to go to Iraq. And I understand where you are trying to go with this, but the thing that we don't talk about is that if most of the people seen on the street were white, there would have been a think tank and a resolution.

But it doesn't get addressed, because we don't want to think that that's part of it, but it is. And it's very much a part of it. If there would have been more film clips of white people with no water and no food....

AAJ: There would have been help in just several hours.

TB: That's right and we still have a lot of growing up to do as a country as far as race relations are concerned. But let me just say this too. Let me draw a distinction between the American public and our government. From what I personally experienced, the American public was trying to step up to the plate. Wherever I went, people around the country expressed their opinion that not being able to get help for more than a few days was bullshit.

AAJ: But where were the people and organizations not from the political arena that could have helped with water, food and medical attention when nothing was available for the first five days?

TB: It was stopped at the borders. It was stopped at the borders by the National Guard and the airport was also shut down. Did you know that a day and a half after the hurricane, Canadian Mounties were at the border waiting to come into the city but they were turned away? There was this notion that the city was too dangerous to let people in. They were playing on those fears again. So there were all of these people that were actively ready to do whatever they could do to help, but they were turned away. And that is the part that so incenses me. They said the city was too dangerous to enter, but then no one was sent in to clean up the city. So does that mean we are just going to let people die that are still left in the city? There is no logical excuse. I don't see any excuse that makes any sense because if you are not allowing Canadian Mounties ... those were not people from the street, they were trained professionals.

AAJ: Did the lack of support have anything to do with our government not being able to apologize for the past atrocities toward African Americans?

TB: (Sighs) It has a lot to do with that, but I don't think it's a malicious thing. I just don't think we matter. Do you know what I'm saying? I don't think there is an evil machine out there that is trying to keep black people down, though I do think there is a certain segment of that in our culture. For the most part, we just don't exist on the radar. The issues that confront poor people are things they just don't think about and they're not bad people. They are not malicious people. It's just that their world is centered on something else.

I also wanted to become active in the political world here in New Orleans and I do get involved. But for the most part, I am trying to do my part as a private citizen. But this bureaucracy crap is not going to change or go away. Whenever somebody talks about reform they are really talking about a different form of what's already going on.

AAJ: Have the black leaders stepped up and asked any of the presidential candidates what they are going to do for the citizens of New Orleans?

TB: Nobody is asking but Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton came to New Orleans to have a debate and Hillary said something that I thought was very telling. She said, "We act as though this is a poor country when it comes to rebuilding this city. We act like we don't have the money." And that's extremely telling. That's not some radical person mouthing off. This is a person that is trying to get into office. She said this in a public forum.

AAJ: What does the title, A Tale of God's Will mean for you? Is it because of all the adversity the people of New Orleans are facing and the lack of support, that it is only through God's will that everyone will get through this?

TB: Well actually, it goes way beyond that because after the hurricane, we all asked why this had to happen. And you might get answers to some of the technical questions but you never get answers to the "why." I grew up in the church and the thing that I learned is that God acts in mysterious ways. And one of the things that I started to see as a result of this massive tragedy is that people started to reassess values. I know that I did and material things became less valuable to me. It's all about relationships with family, friends and a commitment to community.

And out of that, I see a community that is coming together in ways that haven't been there in a long, long time. So that's a really great thing. And that's what I mean by, "A Tale of God's Will." Maybe we had to go through all of this to really determine what is really valuable in life and stop placing values on things that really have no value in the grand scheme of things. When I played with Art Blakey

Art Blakey
Art Blakey
1919 - 1990
, he used to say, "You will never find an armored car riding behind a hearse.

AAJ: When people have a life of equality and freedom, they will do anything to fight and keep it. But for African-Americans, Katrina only proved that there is an illusion of freedom. Will African-Americans ever be able to cross the same bridge in the name of justice and freedom?

TB: It's the thing that you constantly fight for and it's also what motivates you to move forward. But I would look way beyond African-Americans because to me, it's about poor people who are without many resources. Those are the people that are having the race problems and you have to ask yourself, why is that? It has to be a part of some scheme to keep us fighting while others are making money and doing the things that they want to do. Look at the Republican Party. The Secretary of State is a black woman, an African-American. And I was just at the Kennedy Center and I realized that the Republicans have put more African-Americans on staff at the White House than most other folks. So it may not be a race issue.

AAJ: Katrina and the failures in its aftermath will be talked about by history classes 100 years from now. If you were brought into a class in front of those students who had the opportunity to hear from someone who was there, how would you sum it all up so that they would be able to understand what really happened and the pain that is associated with it?

TB: I would tell them that Katrina is a story about human tragedy. It's not a regional story, it's a universal story. It's the story about honest hard-working people who were responsible contributors to their community. But in the midst of this tragedy, they were left in the lurch by the very folks that told them what they should be doing in order to be responsible citizens. And growing up as a kid, you heard this mantra that in order to be a productive person you needed to get an education, get a job and then be a productive member of society. Well a lot of folks here were doing exactly that. They might not have made a lot of money, but they owned their homes and even rented out their homes for supplemental incomes. They were paying their taxes and you cannot be more responsible than that. They cannot help it that their tax bill was much less than other folks. But they were still paying what they were supposed to pay under the law. And by those folks doing everything that they were supposed to be doing, what happened is a serious travesty of justice.

This should be one of those markers that stains our history and should never see us go back this way again. We seem to have this amazing ability to forget our history because who would have thought that after Hitler, anyone else coming close to that would ever be allowed to come to the surface again. So after all of these tragedies that we have had here in this country, between natural disasters, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, why were we so ill prepared to for this situation?

AAJ: When I listen to your music, I hear someone that has deep respect and loyalty for a tradition, but also a person who feels a responsibility to move the music forward. Is this true for you and is it difficult?

TB: That's extremely true. That's extremely true because I think life is all about balance. There are those that have a healthy respect for tradition and become stuck in tradition and there are those that have this desire to move forward, but are supplemented by a strong foundation. I have been fortunate to have played with some great musicians who had great foundations in music but also were extremely creative.

I recently watched this documentary on YouTube of a performance that I did with Jay McShann years ago in Paris. There were a lot of other great musicians on that gig like Benny Carter

Benny Carter
Benny Carter
1907 - 2003
sax, alto
, Clark Terry
Clark Terry
Clark Terry
, Mel Lewis
Mel Lewis
Mel Lewis
1929 - 1990
, Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath
Jimmy Heath
sax, tenor
and Phil Woods
Phil Woods
Phil Woods
sax, alto
. But what I remember most was not the music, but how those guys were talking about the music in the dressing room with a certain type of passion. And I said to myself, that's why they were the innovators of their time and that's why those guys are still great musicians. And now, I am working with Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
and Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
Wayne Shorter
who have the same type of drive and desire. There is nothing that is off limits. And you can tell that they had to limit themselves at the beginning of their development in order to help develop their craft. So there has to be this balance of being fundamentally sound but also not being afraid to go into areas that you have never walked into before.

AAJ: Art always seems to be going into the unknown, bringing the tradition with it.

TB: Yes, yes. It's like going on faith. There is an analogy that is very striking that says you can drive from New Orleans to Los Angeles on a dark highway at night and as long as the lights are on, you can see 100 yards in front of you and you are confident that you are going to be OK even though you don't necessarily know where you are going. (Laughs).

AAJ: One of the areas that separate creative artists from good musicians is that most are interested in the answers, but artists are more interested in the questions, in the search itself. I hear this in your work. Are you still in a process of discovery?

TB: Oh yeah, of course. And sometimes it is not even a discovery. Sometimes you are going along for the ride just like the listener because the music can take on a life of its own. If you are truly humble and sacrifice yourself and allow yourself to surrender to the music, it will take you to places that you have never thought of. And that's what I mean about being in a car at night and having to go on faith. You have to go on faith because when you want to see the whole road from beginning to end, it becomes boring. It's boring because you are making no room for error. I tell my students that if you make love like that to your girlfriend, where you do the same thing every night, pretty soon you are not going to have a girlfriend. (Laughs).

AAJ: That puts everything into perspective.

TB: And it's funny, because that is an analogy that most people can readily understand. Because how many times have you started making love and all of the sudden that process took you into areas where you never thought you would be? (Laughs).

AAJ: That is an enlightening statement.

TB: But it's true and you know what I am saying right?

And that's the thing that I love about music. You start out and say: let's see what's happening. Then at the end, you're going: Oh damn, how did we get here?

AAJ: I also find that the great artists do not seem to separate life and music. They bring it together and you cannot tell where one ends and the other begins. The love and commitment is always there. What has influenced you to this degree?

TB: Thank you. You can't separate it because if you think about it, what is the purpose of music? If it's just a numerical logical exercise, then it's pointless. You have to separate the differences between craft and creativity. Craft gets people mired into so much and then the creativity just goes by them. When I listen to Louis Armstrong and I hear a killin' solo, I can go back and look at the craft and say it was this and it was that. But that didn't put the life force into it. Life has to be a part of your art. Herbie did an interview years ago where he said, "I'm trying to be a better father and a better husband." And when I heard that, I went wow! And that's because he was my hero. So I said: OK, this dude has a life and he is concerned with his family. He is concerned with things not about music and then you start to understand that that is what propels it.

AAJ: But very few musicians are able to get to the artistic level where you are actually able to take your life and make it a part of what you are expressing. Most are just playing the notes or are happy just to be able to put something together. So what is it that has influenced you to the degree that you are able to express this passion of who you are?

TB: Honestly, I think it comes from the world of where you have been hurt; with an understanding of what it's like to feel that level of pain and of having no avenue to express it. I won't say that that's all of it, but why is it that comedians are some of the most depressed people on the planet? Hurt can be deep and artists can be very sensitive and once you tap into that, it unlocks the door to that realm. You tap into it so it's not as if you constantly live a life of hurt, but it's a level of pain that you cannot even place it into words.

AAJ: Is it also a matter of confronting that hurt?

TB: I have played in performances where I was in tears and I didn't know why. And I think part of that is an accumulation of things that have been tucked away in a vault somewhere. And when you start to play, they can all come out at various times and in various ways that are unexpected. How many times have you heard someone talk about something and as they are talking about it, their face transforms and then you start to see their tears?

AAJ: Your love for music always comes through and your commitment is unquestionable. Where is it from?

TB: Well, I think a lot of people are committed but it's just a matter of what they are committed to. If you are committed toward being the most technical person on your instrument, then you are probably going to be that. But then the music is going to suffer. It's all about balance. My commitment comes from my father. He sold insurance and was a workaholic. He had a card table set up in the bedroom and it wasn't until I went to other people's houses that I realized that that was kind of abnormal. He also had one of those old adding machines and he would constantly be there balancing books. And then at night, he would go work at a hospital. So I thought to myself, "My dad is crazy." Years later, I'm in my studio working on a film and it hit me that I had turned into my dad because my daughter, when she was about 4 or 5, said my daddy works with wires. And that's because the only thing that she saw me doing was working in my studio on my music, which is where I was all of the time.

AAJ: Your music also always has honesty and integrity at the heart and root of its foundation, a kind of truth. How do you keep that at the core of what you do? How do you keep it tied together?

TB: The reason why there is that truth is because there is a symmetry to it that's perfect in a sense. The more honest you are with it, the more it will reflect honesty and you'll receive the benefits of that. And that's one of the reasons why artists have such a big problem with politicians. As an artist, it's hard to know you didn't play shit last night and then act like you were the grand dame of the jazz world. That eats away at you because you are constantly trying to better yourself and the only way to better yourself is to never lie to yourself.

Musicians are also very suspicious. You'll sometimes see musicians struggle with words because they don't want that karma to come back on them in a negative way because it will affect your art. We hold that in such high regard. I was working with a director who told this actor, "Look man, some of the stuff you have been doing has gotta stop because it's going to show up on the screen." That had nothing to do with what he was going to be shooting. But by being an artist, the director knew that you cannot play that character and have these other things going on. And that's how artists deal with truth and we think it's paramount. That's why we hold it so sacred and that's why you see artists out there screaming about injustices.

AAJ: The truth aspect is one of the areas that seem to separate artists from entertainers.

TB: Stop right there. That's where the word artist has been bastardized. Because when I was growing up, an artist was not a pop star. An artist was a figure of truth. An artist was a person who was trying to dig deeply into folklore. You dig? Today, anybody can become an artist and that has confused things in people's minds.

AAJ: Sometime ago while I was listening to one of your records, I thought I heard deep emotions for someone that you might be thinking about. But after awhile, I realized perhaps it was also a love for your instrument. Can you explain this relationship?

TB: There definitely is that. I definitely love the trumpet, along with Miles and Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
who have given me an appreciation and love for the trumpet. But John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Ben Webster
Ben Webster
Ben Webster
1909 - 1973
sax, tenor
have also given me a passion for what we have been talking about; that purity of release that you hear in music. Why is it that I can listen to Bird play "Hot House" and still be moved. It's that universal thing that happens in music from all different styles and generations.

AAJ: But when I hear musicians today play older standards that did not come from that specific time period, they sometimes make me wish I was hearing the original recording. It sounds shallow somehow. But you are one of the few instrumentalists today that can take a classic tune and make it your own and I think this part is important; you make it sound convincing. What is the key to making this happen?

TB: Well the reason for that is because you respect where it came from, but you dare not try to mimic it because that would be doing it the biggest disservice. And most people usually just don't understand. Those guys were not mimicking anybody when they created it. They were just being themselves.

AAJ: Leonard Bernstein said the following, "This will be our response to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, and more devotedly than ever before." Does that resonate with you?

TB: Yes, because music and art are always a reflection of their environment. The environment comes first and the art comes afterward. We are living in very turbulent times right now and there is going to be a need for listeners to be able to find solace and peace. So at times music or art needs to help dissipate the anger and I do think we are going to see that because artists are a part of their environment. And the reason people are resonating with A Tale of God's Will is because I'm only playing what people are feeling. There is no magic. I'm only playing with the same type of outrage, empathy and compassion that the average person has seen towards this situation.

AAJ: But I would have to argue that there is some magic in being able to express that.

TB: Well, I think there is magic when you have musicians of like minds that come together. There are things that you cannot explain and cannot replicate.

AAJ: Hazrat Inayat Khan, who was from India, wrote a book titled; "The Mysticism of Sound and Music" in 1927and said that, "Someday music will be the means of expressing universal religion. Time is wanted for this, but there will be a day when music and philosophy will become the religion of humanity." Do you think music has this kind of power?

TB: Oh definitely and it is the universal language. Look at the music of Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane. Music can be a very powerful in its reaction to the environment. I mean how does a person like Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong
Louis Armstrong
1901 - 1971
become an ambassador of peace? I am doing something that has taken me all around the world and I have been to places that my mom could have never imagined going to. When you are standing in front of an audience in Thailand or in Istanbul, Turkey, and they are having a reaction to whatever it is you are doing, it goes both ways. You can go to these places and hear indigenous music and you react to it.

AAJ: Do the events happening in the world today affect you and your own creative process?

TB: I was just at the Kennedy Center for (Kennedy Center Honors) and I was supposed to take a picture with the president (George W. Bush). I struggled with that because I didn't want to take that picture. But my wife talked to me and told me that this wasn't about the president, but about my daughters and what I had accomplished. So I said, OK, fine. But I am heavily affected by what happens in our society today. Because for me, I don't even want to be around musicians with bad vibes. So why would I want to be around someone (the president) who is sending people off to their death?

But I also believe we carry our own vibrations. So I thought, maybe I need to carry my vibrations through these halls, because it's the people, the community that is going to change the world. It's how we react to events. And what we have to remember is that, in a sense, we are allowing these leaders to do this. They are very crafty at pulling the wool over our eyes in order to make us believe things, making us scared of the ghost in the dark that doesn't even exist. But at the same time, we have the power to make change. We really do.

This interview will be included in the future book publication by Lloyd Peterson, "Wisdom Through Music". He is also the author of the book, "Music and the Creative Spirit".

Selected Discography:

Terence Blanchard, A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (Blue Note, 2007)
Terence Blanchard, Flow (Blue Note, 2005)
McCoy Tyner, Illuminations (Telarc, 2004)
Terence Blanchard, Bounce (Blue Note, 2004)
Terence Blanchard, Let's Get Lost (Sony-Legacy, 2001)
Terence Blanchard, Wandering Moon (Sony-Legacy, 2000)
Terence Blanchard, Jazz In Film (Sony-Legacy, 1999)
Terence Blanchard, The Heart Speaks (Sony-Legacy, 1996)
Terence Blanchard, In My Solitude: The Billie Holiday Songbook, (Sony, 1994)
Terence Blanchard, The Malcolm X Suite, (Sony, 1993)
Terence Blanchard, Terence Blanchard, (Sony, 1991)
Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, Black Pearl, (Columbia, 1988)
Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, Crystal Stair, (Columbia, 1987)
Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, Nascence, (Columbia, 1986)
Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, Discernment, (Columbia, 1986)
Donald Harrison and Terence Blanchard, New York Second Line, (Columbia, 1984)

This interview will appear in Lloyd Peterson's upcoming book Wisdom Through Music.

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