A vibrant force in jazz since he took over the trumpet chair from Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the early '80s, Terence Blanchard has had a fine concurrent career scoring films, including nearly all of Spike Lee's since Mo' Better Blues. Lee also asked the New Orleans native to write music for his documentary, When the Levees Broke, by far the best telling of the Katrina disaster. Blanchard's new album, A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (Blue Note), picks up the grim tale, using some of his Levees material and new compositions by himself and his band members to brilliantly capture the fear, angst, despair, poignancy, anger, and frustration incited by the hurricane and its devastating, ongoing aftermath. Leading his superb quintet and conducting the 40-member Northwest Sinfonia, Blanchard etches blues as palpably tragic as they come while his sterling horn weaves a mercurial thread of hope through it all. It's haunting, vividly descriptive music both radiant and emotionally unsettling. It should make for a mesmerizing performance at the Dakota. One quibble: Katrina's impact on New Orleans was not so much a force of nature as a direct result of human contrivances and failures. $32 at 7:00 p.m.; $24 at 9:30 p.m.
Tue., Sept. 4
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