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Terence Blanchard Sextet and Claudia Acuna Sextet
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Terence Blanchard Sextet and Claudia Acuna Sextet

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Terence Blanchard Sextet
Terence Blanchard on Trumpet
Lionel Loueke on Guitar
Brice Winston on Sax
Aaron Parks on Piano
Derrick Hodge on Bass/Bass Guitar
Kendrick Scott on Drums
Claudia Acuña Brazilian Jazz Sextet

Iridium Jazz Club
Arthur Pomposello, Manager
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St, NYC

Media Contact: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 9, 2005

Tonight’s Double Bill was an experience of abstract and melodic contrasts. Terence Blanchard’s Sextet was mostly percussive, potent, pulsating. Claudia Acuna’s Sextet was mostly smooth, sensual, and sultry. Blanchard’s combo began in earnest, with Blanchard’s trumpet overtaking Kendrick Scott’s drums and Aaron Parks’ piano. A lyrical ballad on Brice Winston’s sax was backed with exotic percussion. Parks took a long riff, with abstract, sizeable solos, that fade into disappearing percussive clavé effects.

The second piece, Memory of a Flame, was introduced by a soft piano solo, melting into a trumpet-piano conversation, over whispering guitar, with sonorous and twisting keys. Lionel Loueke’s guitar evolved like suspended raindrops, moody and mellow. Blanchard finished the piece with softness and sensitivity, no mute, just a seamless song. Bennie was led by Derrick Hodge on bass guitar, with rich, rhythmic tones, leading to a saxophone solo. Blanchard, on his trumpet, with its exquisitely golden tones, allows the music to flow, never forced, to a sensational finale.

A very percussive Latin rhythm ensued, blended with bass, which soon fused with full sextet for a slow Mambo, over ever so slight drum rolls. Blanchard took his trumpet to its wild and full potential, as the piano and bass repeated the same theme as background, a complimentary, yet contrasting sound. Soon the bass reconfigured this theme with improvisational fingering, and Blanchard’s Sextet made room for Claudia Acuna.

Claudia Acuna sings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, depending on the song and the mood. The first piece, in English, was dreamy and contemporary. With a Salsa backup, Dana Leong played a tempting trombone. The second piece, in Spanish, found Leong on his cello, and a sultry Rhumba rolled in, led by Jon Benitez on bass, and followed by Acuna’s vocals, Jason Linder’s keyboard, Tony Escapa’s brushes, and Leong’s soft cello. The final song, in Portuguese, about a couple being lost in the wind, entertained Iridium with a sensational Samba, as Leong returned to cello. A steady, percussive poignancy prevailed. Check out the Iridium Website for schedules of current and future events.

Band at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Band at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Arthur Pompasello, Manager, and Roberta
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Band at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at