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Terence Blanchard feat. E-Collective with 'Dear Jimi' on NPR: Songs We Love

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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.

This a group with quick-flash combustion in its DNA, but also an unforced capacity for the long, low simmer. That's best embodied on the first single from the album, "Dear Jimi." Obviously, this an homage to Jimi Hendrix - but rather than assign the melody to Altura's electric guitar, Blanchard plays it on synthesizer, mournfully pitch-bending the line. (There's nary a trace of his trumpet on the track.)

READ Nat Chinen's FULL ARTICLE & LISTEN TO Dear Jimi