Terence Blanchard turns in a new direction

He’s probing post-bop connections to funk, R&B and fusion.

Jazz trumpet star, multi-Grammy winner Terence Blanchard strides into Omaha again, fresh from a new CD “Breathless.” Despite that title, he’s certainly got the chops and the power to blow his horn,  just as he did here in November, 2013 as part of that salute to New Orleans, Treme. Echoes and influences of his home town underlay what he did back then. He’s got a new thing. One which he laid onto the public barely a month ago. It’s The E-Collective, an Electrically- connected quintet in which he aims to explore and combine post-bop, funk, fusion plus R& B, satisfying a long yearning, he explains, to explore such territory. As such, he tends to blend notes and rhythms from Les McCann. Hank Williams and the British rock band Coldplay along with his own latest conceptions, a spin- off from what he and the group laid down studio-wise in what he calls a “protest album.”  

The pianist is 30-year old Cuban Fabian Almazan who won the 2014 DownBeat Critics Poll for Rising Star Pianist. He’s been hanging with Blanchard since 2007. Charles Altura is the guitarist; noted for playing with Chick Corea lately. Bassist Donald Ramsey’s got Dr. John credits while Oscar Seaton has played drums alongside Ramsey Lewis, Don Grusin, Lionel Ritchie and Lee Ritenour.  

Dancing in the aisles may be off-limits but it’s a treat to beat your feet in your neat seat.

Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective plays Thursday, May 7 at Kiewit Hall,  Holland Performing Arts Center,  1200 Douglas St. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $13.50-$26.25. http://www.omahaperformingarts.org/

Category: Music

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