You could make a strong case that Terence Blanchard is the greatest living jazz composer writing for cinema.
Matthew Sweet on this long running Radio 3 cinema music related programme plays generous slices from the New Orleanian trumpeter's career moving bang up to date with music from Blanchard's score for One Night in Miami.
It is hard to describe what is Blanchard-esque in his sound for the movies. But he certainly has a specific ''movie sound.'' His album Jazz in Film (Sony, 1999) gives a few clues from a different angle one that is not soundtrack here but themed around classic themes from the past and featuring his own playing and interpreted beautifully through a deep jazzhead lens. Who, come to think of it, even comes close to Blanchard as a top living jazz composer for film? Dave Grusin is up there. So is Mark Isham. Mike Figgis and Branford Marsalis are too.
Perhaps Blanchard harks back a little bit to Chico Hamilton's approach for the psychological edge found on Repulsion maybe a little bit and when he goes more classical reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann again for the edge. But this is only scratching the surface in anatomising his sound, oh and surely his time with Art Blakey was very important within the fabric of his later ideas for scores. Blanchard converses interestingly about his career but it is his compositions that steal the show. Speaking volumes and as exemplars among a significant body of work convincingly make that aforementioned strong case. SG. Link: to listen. Terence Blanchard photo: top, BBC