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Terence Blanchard & the E-Collective: Fusion for Humanity

On a new live album, the trumpeter and his group rage against gun violence

Terence Blanchard leader of the E-Collective (photo by Henry Adebonojo)
Terence Blanchard (photo by Henry Adebonojo)

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.  JEFF TAMARKIN

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