Terence Blanchard's E-Collective | SPACE | Jazz | Chicago Reader
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Terence Blanchard

Terence Blanchard

Pamela Springsteen

Terence Blanchard's E-Collective 

When: Wed., May 6, 7 & 9:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $18-$38
Trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard has reveled in his versatility over the last couple of decades, emerging as an effective film composer thanks to a partnership with Spike Lee and putting a modern, smoldering spin on the late quintet music of Miles Davis on his terrific 2013 album Magnetic. But he stumbles badly on the heavy-handed funk- and R&B-flavored Breathless (due in late May from Blue Note), which seems to draw inspiration from the music of Robert Glasper without comprehending the keyboardist’s lean, hip-hop inspired vision. The album opens with a lugubrious take on the Les McCann classic “Compared to What?”—with ill matched hyperactive vocals by Maroon 5’s P.J. Morton—and follows with lots of schmaltzy postfusion synthesizers and overly processed guitar solos jacked up by the hard beats of drummer Oscar Seaton. The music is very well played, but I don’t think sounding like a watered-down version of a late-80s Miles Davis record is a good thing for Blanchard, because he can definitely reach higher (the spoken word of Cornel West on “Talk to Me” notwithstanding). —Peter Margasak
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