Here’s a highly unusual, innovative, and very interesting album by trumpeter Blanchard and his E-Collective. The tracks mash up jazz, rock, R&B, hip hop, and country influences. Sounds impossible, but it works, and it’s great. Tracks 1, 6, and 11 feature singing by PJ Morton (of Maroon 5); track 9 has an astonishing spoken word vocal by Dr. Cornel West.
No FCC issues.
1 *** Mid-fast. Superb re-interpretation of famous Les McCann / Eddie Harris hit. Outstanding trumpet, strong horn-like multi-track singing, funky bass. (5:58)
2 * Mid-slow instrumental. Bluesy but soaring melody on trumpet. Middle half has a gentle and compelling elec guitar lead. (8:52)
3 Slow. Strange & dreamlike feel. Densely layered sounds. Gathers intensity. (14:33)
4 ** Mid-slow. Graceful music; powerful spoken lyrics with civil rights allusions. (4:38)
5 ** Mid-fast fusion. Bass & drums start; trumpet provides a theme; then elec guitar leads most of the way. (8:13)
6 Mid-slow. Soulful ballad with sung vocals. Pessimistic lyric. Sort of a downer. (4:12)
7 * Mid-tempo. Funky soul-jazz with elec guitar & elec piano. Catchy and fun. (6:08)
8 Slow. Peaceful and spiritual. Spoken vocal (by Blanchard?) (3:56)
9 ** Mid-slow. Catchy melody on trumpet. Spoken political criticism (by Cornel West) on current events with an allusion to MLK. (4:04)
10 Fast fusion instrumental. Showy solos on piano & guitar. Furious drumming. (2:48)
11 Slow. Sweet R&B love song. Sung male vocals. (4:28)
12 Mid-tempo instrumental. Big chords punctuate a little melody. Add searing guitar. (5:24)
13 Slow. Late night lullaby. Trumpet with electronic effects. Gentle accompaniment. (4:53)