Trumpet player and composer Terence Blanchard could rest on his laurels with five Grammy Awards, a broad solo discography that spans 20 years, and film scoring credits that range from Love & Basketball to Spike Lee’s Mo’ Betta Blues.
But Blanchard keeps working. Back with a new band — the E-Collective, complete with a guitarist he met via Facebook — and a new sound (“It’s a band that has a groove philosophy,” he says), Blanchard is staying contemporary while continuing to use his music to bring attention to injustice. On his new record Breathless (out now on Blue Note), the trumpet player was inspired by the urgency behind Eric Garner’s plea-turned-national rallying cry, “I can’t breathe.”
By Natalie Weiner