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Wednesday January 11, 2017

From Theater Jones

Love Trumpets Hate
At AT&T Performing Arts Center, Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective wages racial peace through an emotional groove.
By: Amy Martin

Six months after an African-American gunman killed five white and Hispanic Dallas police and DART officers, Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective rolled into Dallas with a message: We had to be here.” In announcing the tour last year, he stated, “This band represents the best of America’s ideals. We’re five very different personalities with different visions who play together for a common goal: Creating music that hopefully heals hearts and opens minds.”

Judging by the many audience members in tears by the final number at Wyly Theatre on Saturday night, they succeeded.

The concert, presented by AT&T Performing Arts Center, was being recorded for Caravan, a sequel to Blanchard’s Breathless. The 2015 CD channeled his anguish over the murder of Eric Garner who gasped “I can’t breathe” while being choked to death by a Staten Island policeman for selling cigarettes. Caravan continues the conversation. It is being recorded live in cities scarred by racial violence, both by police and against police: Minneapolis (fatal shootings of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile), Cleveland (fatal shooting of 11-year-old Tamir Rice), and Dallas (fatal shooting of five law enforcement officers: Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Sgt. Michael Smith, and officers Michael Krol, and Patricio “Patrick” Zamarripa of the Dallas Police Dept., and officer Brent Thompson of Dallas Area Rapid Transit).

Blanchard and the E-Collective brewed a mesmerizing evening of jazz fused with a deep funk and R&B groove, all deepened with a blues sensibility and laced with emotional depth. The visceral sound seized mind and body and never stopped being exciting. Anchored by Blanchard’s astounding tonal range from lyrical to pugilistic on his otherworldly trumpet, that brilliant Full Weight RAJA Bb trumpet which only powerfully lunged masters can play.

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