Terry Blade transforms Billie Holiday’s ‘Strange Fruit’ into a ghostly jazz impression
If you have been following our writings here maybe you’ve noticed lately we’ve been talking a lot about Terry Blade. Besides being one of the most interesting artists we’ve come across in the ever-growing Drooble community, he’s incredibly talented and also quite prolific. He literally keeps putting out new music and it’s always worth listening to and writing about.
After a promising single that evolved in a beautiful, dark and emotionally-charged EP, he’s now back at it with a new and very special music offering. Terry’s music is an outlet for his quite outspoken position as a black gay artist and now more than ever we need to ensure the voices and the next level art created within these communities is shown and appreciated all around the world and his version of ‘Strange Fruit’ is a powerful proof that music can be indeed a weapon against injustice.
Originally written by Lewis Allan and Abel Meeropol in 1937 then recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939, a rendition of ‘Strange Fruit’ was also recorded by Nina Simone in 1964. The piece has become a symbol of the struggle against American racism and the lynching of African-Americans in particular. Terry Blade’s ‘Strange Fruit’ shows him at his most fragile and sincere. His vocals on this one, laid over the minimalist piano arrangement, are nuanced through delicate ornamentation and organic dynamics. They are calm, sometimes even unobtrusive but still somehow manage to showcase the soul behind them but the breath-taking talent and skill as well. ‘Strange Fruit’ is Terry Blade’s response to the global turmoil after the death of George Floyd and works of art like this are here to never let us forget all lives that our wretched system has crushed.
‘Strange Fruit’ is a cover piece but offers a brief look in a promising direction. It’s a ghostly jazz impression that carries a lot of meaning under its belt. The stripped-down arrangement allows the piece to really get under your skin and once it’s there Blade’s vocal performance and the original lyrics of the piece will enter your bloodstream to ensure you’ll be left speechless.