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Live From New York

January 2008

By Published: January 6, 2008
Ambrose Akinmusire at Tribeca Performing Arts Center

Ambrose Akinmusire, winner of the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition, led an impressive young ensemble at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (Dec. 10th) as part of its annual Jazz In Progress/Monk In Motion - The Next Face Of Jazz series. Beginning the concert with a solo trumpet prelude to his original composition "Dreams of the Manbhaniese , he immediately distinguished himself as an uncommonly restrained horn player with a distinctive tone and a personal writing style that made excellent use of the individual and collective voices of his colleagues - tenor man Walter Smith III, vibraphonist Chris Dingman and a rhythm section of Aaron Parks, Joe Sanders and Justin Brown. The trumpeter's composing proved to be as noteworthy as his playing, with each of the two other originals - "Aroca and "Ruby - that followed flowing harmoniously into each other as episodic components of a spellbinding set that took on a narrative quality. An unselfish leader, Akinmusire shared the spotlight with the other members of the sextet during the second part of the concert which began with two more original compositions, the trilling "Humsong , which featured Smith and Dingman, and the powerful "Mistag (an acronym for My Inappropriate Soundtrack To A Genocide, inspired by the film Hotel Rwanda) that showcased Brown's AfroCuban martial rhythms. The set concluded with Dingman's romantic "Rapture and Parks' ominous "The Warrior .

Insight at Rockwood Music Hall

The fiery Latin Jazz septet Insight made a rare New York appearance at the Loisaida's Rockwood Music Hall (Dec. 1st) to play music from their critically acclaimed new CD A Genesis. Co-led by Zaccai and Luques Curtis, on piano and bass respectively, the group exhibited one of the most exciting sounds on the scene today, distinguished by tightly-played serpentine arrangements that melded memorable melodies, sophisticated harmonies and a dazzling array of AfroCarribean rhythms. Opening with a new piece, "Justice began with a warm solo bass recital which gradually built in intensity as the piano introduced a pretty optimistic melody and the percussive interplay of drummer John Davis and conguero Reinaldo De Jesus set down the incendiary rhythm. By the time the riffing horn section of trumpeter Philip Bizack, altoist Chris Allen and tenor saxophonist Frank Kozyra joined in, the house was ablaze with excitement. Four songs from the group's album clearly displayed the distinguished composing and arranging abilities of Zaccai, particularly the beautifully sanguine "Necessity and the dramatic "Story In Three . An original arrangement of "The Panamanian Murga and the dedication "Hilton's Rumba demonstrated the pianist's inventive use of traditional rhythms, allowing the group's stellar soloists to show off their impressive chops. On the final number, "Descarga , several players from the audience joined in for an electrifying finish.

~ Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

· Andy Bey — Ain't Necessarily So (12th Street)

· Chris Gestrin — After the City Has Gone: Quiet (Songlines)

· Frank Kimbrough — Air (Palmetto)

· Moutin Reunion Quartet — Sharp Turns (Nocturne)

· Tyshawn Sorey — That/Not (Firehouse 12)

· Daniel Yvinec — The Lost Crooners (BEE Jazz)

· Henning Sieverts — Symmetry (Pirouet)

-David Adler NY@Night Columnist,

· Andrea Keller — Footprints: The Wayne Shorter Project (Australian Broadcasting Co.)

· Frank Kimbrough — Air (Palmetto)

· Tony Malaby/William Parker/Nasheet Waits — Tamarindo (Clean Feed)

· Stephen Riley — Once Upon A Dream (Steeplechase)

· Alexander von Schlippenbach/Globe Unity Orchestra — Globe Unity - 40 Years (Intakt)

· Willie Williams — Comet Ride (Miles High Prod.)

· Howard Wiley — The Angola Project (s/r)

-Laurence Donohue-Greene Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York

· Edmund Welles — Tooth & Claw (s/r)

· Agusti Fernández/Evan Parker/Barry Guy/Paul Lytton — Topos (Maya Recordings)

· Matana Roberts — The Chicago Project (Central Control)

· Adam Rudolph's Moving Picture — Dream Garden (Justin Time)

· The Schizo Quartet (Jon Corbett/Nick Stephens) — Don't Answer It (Loose Torque)

· Alexander von Schlippenbach/Globe Unity Orchestra — Globe Unity - 40 Years (Intakt)

-Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York

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