Picks and Pans Review: Wandering Moon
This quietly dazzling album by a septet led by jazz trumpeter Blanchard is ideal for a contemplative Sunday afternoon. Evoking the breezy cool of Chet Baker, Blanchard's virtues spring from his sense of restraint. The joy is in the tease.
Blanchard is best known for his musical contributions to television programs (the BBC documentary The Promised Land) and feature films (Do the Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Random Hearts). Not surprisingly, in places a few of the eight songs he wrote for this album have the discursive feel of incidental movie music. More focused are "Sweets," a tribute to the late trumpet star Harry "Sweets" Edison, and "Sidney," written for his daughter, who is named after sax virtuoso Sidney Bechet. Among Blanchard's talented sidemen are Branford Marsalis on tenor sax and alto sax prodigy Aaron Fletcher. Unless you're Judith Jamison or Twyla Tharp, you probably can't dance to this album, but you can think to it. Be thankful for small favors.
Bottom Line: Welcome return of "cool" jazz
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