Multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard released his new album Breathless May 26 on Blue Note Records.
With his new quintet, The E-Collective, Blanchard journeys into an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colors. The album is a statement piece with the title referencing “I can’t breathe,” the words of Eric Garner that have since echoed across the country in protest of discrimination. “Soldiers,” the first single from the album, is available today on all streaming services and digital retailers. Breathless is available for pre-order on iTunes and Amazon.
The E-Collective includes Charles Altura (Guitar), Fabian Almazan (Piano and Synths), Donald Ramsey (Bass), and Oscar Seaton (Drums). Breathless was produced by Blanchard and his manager Robin Burgess, and executive produced by Blue Note president Don Was.
The adventurous 13-tune recording zeroes in on several Blanchard originals, an epic-length piece by Almazan (“Everglades”) and a scattering of covers, sung by soothing and soulful vocalist PJ Morton (a member of the band Maroon 5), including an exhilarating take on the modern standard “Compared to What“ made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris, and the soul-vibed and lyrical take on “I Ain’t Got Nothin’ But Time” penned by Hank Williams.
Plus, Morton sings the compelling pop-styled, song-of-strength tune, ”Shutting Down,” written by Blanchard’s talented son, T. Oliver Blanchard Jr., aka JRei Oliver, who also contributes spoken-word excerpts on others.
Blanchard hits the road this year with The E-Collective including performances at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, several European festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival.