15

Ambrose Akinmusire: The imagined savior is far easier to paint

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Ambrose Akinmusire: The imagined savior is far easier to paint The title's prose speaks of trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire's poetic leanings. A rising jazz star who's received a lion's share of awards and accolades yet is not resting on past laurels, he continues to search for artistic expression with in-demand chops and inventive writing that has illuminated the recordings of other artists and his own band since 2008's debut Prelude: to Cora (Fresh Sound New Talent).

the imagined savior is far easier to paint is a fresh page in Akinmusire's evolving narrative, this time integrating progressive music with songs and lyrics contributed by a number of today's brightest vocalists. Becca Stevens provides abstract musings in "Our Basement" and Theo Bleckmann offers an affecting declaration of the heart in "Asiam" as Akinmusire's full bodied horn expresses a range of moods from blustery flights to animated screeches and slurs in the "Ceaseless Inexhaustable Child" with Cold Specks singer Al Spx articulating her unforgettable style of bittersweet lyrics.

A stellar quintet that includes Akinmusire's longtime associate saxophonist Walter Smith III and guest guitarist Charles Altura}, the band is on top of its game, burning bright in complex yet melodic numbers such as "As We Fight" and "Bubbles" or swinging through turbulence in the episodic 16 minute live track "Richard." The release also unveils a gorgeous surprise in "The Beauty of Dissolving Portraits" which spotlights the trumpeter and the Osso String Quartet resulting in a piece that breathes multiple disciplines and highlights the trumpeter's writing acumen. "inflatedbyspinning" is another composition featuring string quartet and even though the trumpeter doesn't perform on the piece, it declares his prowess as a composer.

Like his previous releases, Akinmusire's seeks to link themes and moods into a listening experience that move beyond the typecast set of up-tempo tracks and slower ballads. "Rollcall for Those Absent" is similar to "My Name is Oscar" from his 2011 Blue Note debut When the Heart Emerges Glistening as it provides social commentary, this time through a child's reading of the names of young people killed from gunfire(including Trayvon Martin) while Akinmusire quietly accompanies on keyboards. This is another significant release from one of music's brightest.


Track Listing: Marie Christie; As We Fight (willie penrose); Our Basement (ed); Vartha; Memo (g. learson); The Beauty of Dissolving Portraits; Asiam (joan); Bubbles; Ceaseless Inexhaustible Child (cyntoia brown); Rollcall for Those Absent; J.E. Nilmah (Ecclesiastes 6:10); inflatedbyspinning; Richard (conduit).

Personnel: Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet, Juno Keyboard; Walter Smith: tenor sax; Sam Harris: piano, Mellowtron; Harish Raghavan: bass; Justin Brown: drums; Charles Altura: guitar (2, 4, 5, 8, 11) ; Becca Stevens: vocals (3); Maria Im: violin (3, 6, 12); Brooke Quiggens Saulnier: violin (3, 6, 12); Kallie Ciechomsky: viola (3, 6, 12); Maria Bella Jeffers: cello (3, 6, 12); Elena Penderhughes: flute (6); Theo Bleckmann: vocals + effects (7); Al Spx: vocals (9); Muna Blake: reading (10).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "What was said" CD/LP/Track Review What was said
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2016
Read "River Silver" CD/LP/Track Review River Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "Wheel of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Wheel of Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Concerto para Moviola" CD/LP/Track Review Concerto para Moviola
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Natural" CD/LP/Track Review Natural
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Bring Their ‘A’ Game" CD/LP/Track Review Bring Their ‘A’ Game
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!