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Jazz - Released October 12, 2018 | Blue Note Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
After two staggering studio albums (When the Heart Emerges Glistening in 2011 and The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint in 2014) and one brilliant live album (A Rift in Decorum in 2017), all three released on Blue Note, Ambrose Akinmusire has changed gear with a multifaceted and ambitious work that mixes jazz, string quartet, poetry and rap. The Californian trumpeter has never been a stranger to taking a step into the unknown, but Origami Harvest is without a doubt his most daring work to date. And the most mind-boggling! At his side, pianist Sam Harris, drummer Marcus Gilmore, saxophonist Walter Smith III and, rather more unexpected, the Mivos string quartet and Victor Vázquez (alias Kool A.D.), previously an MC with hip-hop outfit Das Racist. Jazz, free, classical, funk, rap, soul and spoken word all collide here. One might criticise Akinmusire for his 360° vision. This composition is bursting at the seams as it moves from free jazz to R&B before returning to contemporary music or funk. The radical nature of the project can be explained by its origins. Judd Greenstein from the New York Ecstatic Music Festival, who commissioned the work, asked the Californian for his craziest idea. “I wanted to do a project about extremes and putting things that are seemingly opposite right next to each other", Akinmusire explained . Despite everything, there is a real fluidity to Origami Harvest, the composition is a perfect mirror for the time in which we live - its contradictions, its violence, its frenetic changes of pace and style... "Origami,” said Akinmusire, “refers to the different ways black people, especially men, have to bend, whether in failure or to fit a mould. Then I had a son while writing this and I thought about these cycles repeating: Harvest." You'll need to take a little time to digest such a creative flood. In an era unused to pauses, contemplation and taking one's time, Origami Harvest is a curious case. It's a blast of fresh air which does you good even as it baffles you. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Blue Note Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Jazz - Released June 9, 2017 | Capitol Records, LLC

Hi-Res Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
The Village Vanguard is a sacred place. A sort of jazz Mecca which has borne witness to all the genre's greats. The New York club of legend is not, however, anything special in itself: its aura is more to do with the spirits that haunt the air there, rather than its architecture or its acoustics, which are actually pretty ordinary. It is this spirit which seems to have inspired Ambrose Akinmusire. With his faithful companions pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown, the Californian trumpet player has given himself over as never before for A Rift In Decorum: Live At The Village Vanguard which takes its inspiration from the mysticism which surrounds the Vanguard. "It’s like I’m being bear-hugged by the spirits in there, he explains. Especially in a time like now, it’s great to have a place that still exists in the way that it originally existed." As on his last two (studio) albums for the label Blue Note, When the Heart Emerges Glistening in 2011 and, three years later, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint, Akinmusire's compositions blossom with beauty and complexity. The trumpeter dares to take detours, shimmering like a stream. For this live album, the quartet takes on fourteen new compositions whose richness is maddening. And every theme, like every improvisation; every exchange, like every silence, gives way to an instant of grace... The 2007 Laureate of the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, Ambrose Akinmusire also gives notice that a jazz trumpeter in 2017 isn't limited to only look to the deathless Miles/Chet duo for inspiration, and that other players (Kenny Dorham?) inspire him just as much. The recording of this concert shows us the work of a real quartet: and not just the folly of an egotistical bandleader. Here is a live performance that will count for some time to come: it certainly counts for a lot already. © MZ/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released June 9, 2017 | Capitol Records, LLC

Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Jazz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Blue Note (BLU)

This is an impressively rich record by a quintet which has substantially broadened its musical palette. Trumpet player and composer Ambrose Akinmusire returns with this new album, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint, helped by guitarist Charles Altura of the OSSO String Quartet and singers Becca Stevens, Theo Bleckmann and Cold Specks. The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint makes good on the promise of, When the Heart Emerges Glistening, Akinmusire's last album, and his first for Blue Note, and which met with considerable success. On this new album, which he produced himself, Ambrose Akinmusire subtly develops his music by putting a little less emphasis on mind-boggling solos and a little more on the compositions themselves (he is the author of twelve of the album's thirteen tracks), although he always takes care to give his bandmates the space to express themselves and improvise. © PY/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Ambrose Akinmusire in the magazine
  • 360° vision
    360° vision After two staggering studio albums (When the Heart Emerges Glistening in 2011 and The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint in 2014) and one brilliant live album (A Rift in Decorum in 2017), all t...
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