Terence Blanchard is an award-winning bandleader, composer, and jazz trumpeter. He’s also was born and bred in New Orleans. Now he turns his talent to his home city and the tragedy suffered by the winds of Hurricane Katrina in his latest work.He also scored Spike Lee’s documentary about the tragedy called When the Levees Broke and some of the tunes are from that work or inspired by that documentary. He’s joined on the album by Brice Winston (tenor and soprano saxophones), Aaron Parks (piano), Derrick Hodge (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums), and Zach Harmon (tabla and the happy apple [a Fisher Price toy used as a percussion instrument, I had to look that one up]).
The album, as you can imagine, is full of somber jazz, but there are some more up-tempo works as well. Sometimes the instruments burst into a cacophony of sound meant to signify the confusion and chaos of the events and this technique only serves to remind you of that chaos.
New Orleans is a town still suffering under the devastation wrought upon it by the storm and this album serves as a somber musical accompaniment and remainder to those terrible events.