Fusion for Humanity

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Monday July 23, 2018

From JazzTimes

Terence Blanchard & the E-Collective: Fusion for Humanity
By: Jeff Tamarkin

Terence Blanchard didn’t form his fusion band the E-Collective with the intention of making politically and socially informed music. But, he says, ‘Real life was happening, and we couldn’t avoid that. So instead of making a feel-good record, we decided to have music that was inspired by these things that were happening in our country.’

Live, the group’s newly released Blue Note followup to 2015’s Breathless, was recorded in front of audiences in U.S. cities affected by high-profile instances of gun violence, committed both by police and against law enforcement. The album features Blanchard on trumpet and keyboards, Charles Altura on electric guitar, David Ginyard Jr. on electric bass, Fabian Almazan on keyboards and piano and Oscar Seaton playing drums. Dr. Cornel West contributes a couple of spoken-word passages. Blanchard, 56, recently spoke with JazzTimes about the album’s social and political implications, the enduring inspiration he finds in Hendrix and more.

JazzTimes: What, specifically, inspired the music on Live?

Terence Blanchard: We couldn’t abandon the topic after Breathless, because you turn on the television any day of the week and they’re not talking about gun control, not talking about Michigan or Puerto Rico or the deficit, which totally amazes me. So we wanted to continue the discussion, or at least try to create a vehicle which will allow us to have the discussion about gun control around the country.

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