Entertainment Weekly - 3/5/99, p.67
"...Here he pays spirited homage to earlier scores that incorporated jazz elements, including A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, CHINATOWN, AND TAXI DRIVER. Fleshing out the distinctive themes are such A-list improvisers as saxophonist Joe Hendersona and trombonist Steve Turre." - Rating: B
CMJ - 3/1/99, p.38
"...Here Blanchard essays famous jazz themes from movies using his band as well as full orchestral accompaniment....classic compositions from Duke Ellington, Elmer Bernstein and Alex North....Anyone who thinks "movie jazz" is not a serious proposition...think again..."
Personnel includes: Terence Blanchard (trumpet); J.A.C. Redford, Steven Mercurio (conductor); Donald Harrison (alto saxophone); Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Steve Turre (trombone); Kenny Kirkland (piano); Reginald Veal (bass); Carl Allen (drums).
Recorded at Signet Soundelux Studios, Los Angeles, California on March 17 & 18, 1998 and Clinton Recording Studios, Studio B, New York, New York on April 7, 1998. Includes liner notes by Charles Garmann, Janice Harayda and Terence Blanchard.
Personnel: Terence Blanchard (trumpet); Donald Harrison (alto saxophone); Steve Turre (trombone); Kenny Kirkland (piano); Carl Allen (drums).
Recording information: Clinton Recording Studios, New York, NY (03/17/1998-04/07/1998); Signet Soundelux Studios, L.A., CA (03/17/1998-04/07/1998); Studio B, New York, NY (03/17/1998-04/07/1998).
Editor: Robert Vosgien.
Photographers: Joseph Pluchino; Dana Ross.
Arranger: Terence Blanchard.
New Orleans-born, New York-based composer, performer and instructor Terence Blanchard has scored several films, often in collaboration with director Spike Lee. For JAZZ IN FILM, Blanchard reinterprets nine film themes, from Alex North's 1951 "A Streetcar Named Desire" to Blanchard's own 1995 "Clockers." Freed from the constraints of soundtrack composition, Blanchard begins each piece with a statement of the main theme and goes from there into new melodic improvisations, handled equally by Blanchard's trumpet, tenor Joe Henderson and alto Donald Harrison.
Henderson is the set's real star, delivering two stunning solos on Bernard Herrman's "Taxi Driver" and Elmer Bernstein's "The Man with the Golden Arm." The rhythm section, led by the great pianist Kenny Kirkland (who died shortly after these sessions), is supple and sympathetic, following the soloists with ease and skill. Despite the somewhat dry instructional title, JAZZ IN FILM is an extremely satisfying new interpretation of film music.