Terence Blanchard on Putting Civil Unrest to a Groove

< Back

Friday May 06, 2016

From Indy Week

Art of Cool 2016: Terence Blanchard on Putting Civil Unrest to a Groove
By: Dan Ruccia

Terence Blanchard isn’t afraid of injecting politics into his music. In addition to writing the soundtrack to every Spike Lee film since Jungle Fever, the trumpeter has recorded albums about Malcolm X and Hurricane Katrina.

His latest album, Breathless, takes Eric Garner’s last words as a musical call to action, giving Blanchard a chance to get loud and aggressive over the heavy grooves of his new quintet, the E-Collective. A far cry from Blanchard’s 2001 album of romantic ballads, Let’s Get Lost, or much of his more gentle jazz output, the music of Breathlesscan feel weighty and claustrophobic, as uncomfortable and urgent as the state of American society he’s exploring.

I caught Blanchard before his rehearsal for an all-star performance at the White House’“a “smorgasbord” of jazz greats, he called it. He talked about the meaning of groove, police violence, and community building through music.

To read the interview click here