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Songs We Love: Terence Blanchard, 'Dear Jimi (Feat. The E-Collective)'

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Thursday March 22, 2018

From NPR

Songs We Love: Terence Blanchard, ‘Dear Jimi (Feat. The E-Collective)’
By: Nate Chinen

Terence Blanchard has always been drawn to a form of lyricism that runs burnished and bittersweet. You can track this mood throughout his career as a post-bop trumpeter, and no less in his dozens of film scores, in and beyond a long affiliation with Spike Lee. That quality of mournful uplift also rings loud and clear on Blanchard’s forthcoming album LIVE. It’s a showcase for the sleek young band that he calls the E-Collective, with Charles Altura on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizers, David Ginyard on bass and Oscar Seaton on drums.

“Dear Jimi” — which does eventually include some guitar heroics, over a vamp in the outro — is broadly in sync with the album’s focus on black art and black lives. The first E-Collective album, released in 2015, was titled Breathless in honor of Eric Garner, whose death at the hands of law enforcement led to the protest slogan “I Can’t Breathe.” I have a vivid memory of seeing the band play this music in a Staten Island park, for an audience that included the Garner family.

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