Terence Davies (1945- ), filmmaker and writer, takes us, sometimes obliquely, to his childhood and youth in Liverpool. He's born Catholic and poor; later he rejects religion. He discovers homo-eroticism, and it's tinged with Catholic guilt. Enjoying pop music gives way to a teenage love of Mahler and Wagner. Using archival footage, we take a ferry to a day on the beach. Postwar prosperity brings some positive change, but its concrete architecture is dispiriting. Contemporary colors and sights of children playing may balance out the presence of unemployment and persistent poverty. Davies' narration is a mix of his own reflections and the poems and prose of others.
Terence Trent D'Arby had a difficult 1990s, the nadir of which was probably the desperate mating call Supermodel Sandwich with Cheese from his 1995 album Vibrator. But he has started the new century with a clean slate, changing his name to Sananda Maitreya and launching his own label. The artful blend of soul, rock and funk is reassuringly familiar, though. D'Arby/ Maitreya still exercises a Prince-like control over songwriting, arrangement and production, rendering it a one-man show, but that's no bad thing with an artist of his ability. Drivin' Me Crazy packs enough lust into three funky minutes to satiate his most ardent fans (or "lightbeings", as he calls them), and the outstanding Suga Free pairs dark balladry with an operatic choir. Even the banjo-plinking O Divina comes good in the end, swelling into a Motownesque chorus. A snazzy comeback.
Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby is the debut studio album by Terence Trent D'Arby. It was released in July 1987 on Columbia Records, and became an instant number one smash in the UK, spending a total of nine weeks at the top of the UK Albums Chart. It was eventually certified 5x Platinum. Worldwide, the album sold a million copies within the first three days of going on sale. The album's success was slower in the U.S. It was released there in October 1987, eventually peaking at number four on May 7, 1988 – the same week that the single "Wishing Well" hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It did peak higher on the Billboard R&B Albums chart at #1 around the same time.
Falling halfway between the modern R&B of Introducing the Hardline and the extravagant Neither Fish nor Flesh, Symphony or Damn is Terence Trent D'Arby's most ambitious album yet. It's also his best, because it takes the fine songwriting of his debut and melds it to the sonic excesses of Fish. Sure, some of it is embarrassing (it's hard not to cringe during the "Welcome to My Monasteryo" declaration at the beginning of the album), but more often than not, D'Arby's experimentations succeed, and succeed grandly, at that.
Terence Blanchard's 2013 return to Blue Note, Magnetic, built upon his decades-long history of post-bop dynamism with a forward-thinking approach that blended edgy, modal improvisation with a sophisticated, genre-crossing compositional style. It was a concept he had been investigating on his previous efforts Bounce (2003), Flow (2005), and Choices (2009), and, though it had been years since Blanchard was considered a young lion, the eclecticism of the album matched the work of many of his younger contemporaries like trumpeter Christian Scott and pianist Robert Glasper, the latter of whom even played on Bounce.
The Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer returns to his jazz-renaissance roots with a set steeped in the glossy hues and tones of New York City at night. Blanchard’s score for the soundtrack of Robert De Niro’s new film captures a late-life crisis with jaunty blues, brooding balladry and svelte modern jazz. The mood-setting themes have strong melodies and rhythmic edge, and with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane stretching out and on-form pianist Kenny Barron leading a classy rhythm section, the jazz is for real. Blanchard pares his playing of excess, and plays beautifully.