Terence Blanchard: Breathless | Album Review

Wed, Jun 3, 2015, 15:42



Terence Blanchard

Blue Note


The title of Terence Blanchard’s new album is a reference to “I can’t breathe”, the last words New Yorker Eric Garner uttered before being choked to death by members of the NYPD, so there are clearly weighty matters on the trumpeter’s mind. His response is to put aside the straight-ahead hard bop that has made his reputation and to dive into the deep blue waters of funk and fusion. The spirit of Miles Davis would be hard for any American trumpeter in this genre to avoid, and there are certainly echoes of electric Miles, but perhaps also – intentionally or not – there is something more European here, reminiscent of Nils Petter Molvaer’s “future-jazz”, with the austere Nordic grooves replaced by the heat and flawless poise of some old-school jazz-funk.