421

Young Men With A Horn: Ambrose Akinmusire & Vitaly Golovnev

By

Sign in to view read count
Trumpeters Ambrose Akinmusire and Vitaly Golovnev were the winner and semi-finalist, respectively, in the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition. On these debut albums as leaders, they reveal ambitions that go beyond expressing trumpet prowess, which they both have, to personal conceptions as composers and bandleaders.



On that score, the two trumpeters' paths diverge: Golovnev staying firmly in the lineage of hard bop, bravura players, while Akinmusire takes a more introverted, exploratory road.

Ambrose Akinmusire
Prelude
Fresh Sound-New Talent
2008

Prelude is almost five minutes into its third track before Akinmusire takes his first solo and his trumpet only dominates on three of the album's 10 tracks. Yet he is an unmistakable presence in the music, as conceptualizing composer and/or arranger. His ensemble approach is reminiscent of saxophonist Wayne Shorter, as are some of his compositions. They favor a collective sound, one that can be delicately diaphanous or teemingly forceful.



An eerie electric piano and vibes waft through "Dreams of the Manbahsniere," where the trumpet and tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, plus the wordless vocals of Junko Watanabe, are woven into the mix and the only solo to emerge is from Aaron Parks' piano. "Aroca," a piece based on intervals floats, like one of Shorter's more evocative ballads while "Ruby," introduced by a warm a cappella trumpet meditation, builds as a power ballad, with a billowing trumpet solo. There's cinematic scope and real drama in "M.I.S.T.A.G.," a reaction to the film Hotel Rwanda. Akinmusire employs a variety of tones and strategies in his solos to serve the specific concepts, but the two tracks with Parks—the pianist's "Trapped in a Dream" with bass and drums and the duet on Benny Golson's "Stablemates"—are arresting examples of the leader's trumpet technique, imagination and lyricism.

Vitaly Golovnev
To Whom It May Concern
Tippin'
2008

To Whom It May Concern is firmly in the tradition of hard bop, right down to the lineup of trumpet, tenor sax (Jake Saslow), piano (Miki Hayama), bass (Boris Kozlov) and drums (Jason Brown). Golovnev follows in the extrovert, brash trumpeter style of such hard boppers as Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard but he's clever enough and original enough not to mimic his influences, piquantly personalizing his solos.



Golovnev is also an engaging, creative composer who adds quirky twists and turns to his basically hard bop tunes. "Some Kind of Blues," with its extended form and suggestions of fugue, has a Charles Mingus vibe while "Miki's Trick"—the trick being there's no Miki (the pianist) at all—has a staccato melody like Monk's "Evidence". "Elegy" is a ballad with frothy effervescence and "Pretty Far" is hard bop with an in-the-pocket swing groove.

Both players should be major trumpet voices in jazz in this new century.


Tracks and Personnel

Prelude

Tracks: Dreams of the Manbahsniese; Vibe Solo Intro; Aroca; HumSong (SkidRow Anthem); M.I.S.T.A.G. (My Inappropriate Soundtrack to a Genocide); Trumpet Intro/Dedication to Ruby; Ruby; Ghost Ship; Dingmandingo; Stablemates.

Personnel: Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet; Aaron Parks: piano; Chris Dingman: vibes; Walter Smith III: tenor saxophone; Joe Sanders: bass; Justin Brown: drums; Logan Richardson: alto saxophone (5, 9); Junko Watanabe: vocals (1, 5, 7).

To Whom It May Concern

Tracks: Whose Shoes?; Some Kind Of Blues; To Whom It May Concern; Never; Corner Bistro; Miki's Trick; Elegy; Waiting; Pretty Far.

Personnel: Vitaly Golovnev: trumpet; Jake Saslow: tenor sax; Miki Hayama: piano; Boris Kozlov: bass; Jason Brown: drums.

Visit Ambrose Akinmusire and Vitaly Golovnev on the web.


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017

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!