Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has just released a brand new album with his long-standing group entitled Choices.
For the past few years the New Orleans native has surrounded himself with a band comprised of musicians half his age who contribute their unique aesthetics and compositions to the group's sound.
In addition to regulars Kendrick Scott (drums) and Derick Hodge (bass), relative newcomers Fabian Almazon (piano) and Walter Smith III (saxophone) round out the core quintet. They are joined by former Blanchard band member Lionel Loueke (guitar) and vocalists Bilal and Cornel West.
West's contributions - spoken word vignettes culled from an hour-long conversation with the trumpeter - are what set this record apart from previous releases and help give the music a sense of urgency - at least to my ears.
Take a listen yourself ...