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Terence Blanchard: Live

Mike Jurkovic By

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As trumpeter Terence Blanchard is wont to do, he blends spoken word, rock, funk, the electrified, the experimental, the second line, the bop, blues, and hip hop on the swaggering, often staggering, Live, his latest Blue Note release.

Bidding us to ..."find our voices..." Marcus Miller's "Hannibal" evolves from a floating piano intro (courtesy of Fabian Almazan) into a Zappa-like wash of horns, synths, and lots of guitar, bass 'n' drums. The music swims, the horn heralds and we're caught in the tidal waves of Blanchard's visceral statement concerning America's worship of guns and the daily violence that ensues. All the music here is in response to the seemingly-endless loop of active shooters and the lives—mostly black, yet blind to color, creed, and moral code—lost to the avalanche of guns in our ever-corrosive society. "Hannibal" slips into "Kaos" as it should and—a hallmark of Blanchard's singular composing, where anything is possible at any possible moment—moves into double time, amplified horn, and a frenzied Charles Altura guitar solo. Drummer Oscar Seaton somehow makes sense of it all, muscling his way into the maelstrom. Blanchard soars like angry mothers marching, like the voices of tens of thousands shouting "Enough!"

"Unchanged" begins with Altura lulling us into a dreamy state until the rest of the band—led by Blanchard and bad-ass bassist David Ginyard—each take several hot minutes to declare themselves. "Dear Jimi" and "Can Anyone Hear Me" come on as full-fledged, guitar-driven fusion over synth walls of texture and the unstoppable rhythm section. Blanchard may not, as he comments in the one-sheet, put the band together to play protest music, but the proof, as they say, is in the very hot mix. The E-Collective and Live are very hard and angry. Forgiving, and utterly human.

Track Listing: Hannibal; Kaos; Unchanged; Soldiers; Dear Jimi; Can Anyone Hear Me; Choices

Personnel: Terence Blanchard: tromba, tastiere elettriche; Fabian Almazan: pianoforte, tastiere elettriche; Charles Altura: chitarra elettrica; David Ginyard : basso; Oscar Seaton; batteria; Doctor Cornel West: voce nel brano n. 7.

Title: Live | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Blue Note

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