Five-time Grammy-winning trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present. With his band The E-Collective he addresses the staggering cyclical epidemic of gun violence in America with the April 20 release of his new album Live, 7 powerful songs recorded live in concert that both reflect the bitter frustration of the conscious masses while also providing a balm of emotional healing.
With a title that carries a pointed double meaning, the album is an impassioned continuation of the band’s GRAMMY-nominated 2015 studio recording, Breathless. Hear the lead track “Dear Jimi” now via NPR Music.
The music of Live was symbolically culled from concerts performed at venues in three communities that have experienced escalating conflicts between law enforcement and African American citizens: The Dakota in Minneapolis (near where Philando Castile was pulled over and shot by a cop on July 6, 2016); The Bop Stop in Cleveland (near where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot by police on November 22, 2014); and the Wyly Theatre in Dallas (near where police officers Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson and Patricio Zamarripa were assassinated while on duty covering a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on July 7-8, 2016). The E-Collective’s Live project condemns gun violence of all manner whether against profiled citizens of color or targeted members of law enforcement.
Experimental, electric and exotic, E-Collective consists of Blanchard on trumpet, Charles Altura on guitar, Fabian Almazan on piano and synthesizers, Oscar Seaton on drums, and new addition David “DJ” Ginyard on bass. Discussing the origin of E-Collective, Blanchard states, “I didn’t put this group together to be a protest band. We started out wanting to play music to inspire young people… However, while we were on tour in Europe, Mike Brown got shot. Trayvon Martin had already been murdered. And back then it seemed like these shootings were happening every month. That’s when I felt we had to stand up and make a statement with our 2015 album, Breathless [named in honor of Eric Garner who pleaded in vain to a pile of police officers with their knees in his back that he could not breathe]. After touring that music for two years, we couldn’t just let it go.”
“This band represents the best of America’s ideals,” says Blanchard. “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. Live is an album for these troubled times yet it’s also an album filled with hope. We want to encourage listeners to speak out and talk to those around them, discuss with those around them and heal with those around them.”
The album will be released worldwide on 20 April 2018. More Information and pre-order links are available here.