Ambrose Akinmusire - on the tender spot of every calloused moment Music Album Reviews

On the jazz trumpeter’s fifth album, Akimbusire and his extremely tight band are after your immediate emotional response. It’s music that seeks peace not just despite a world of unrest, but within it.

Ambrose Akinmusire’s fifth studio album opens underwater and drowning. Midway through “Tide of Hyacinth,” Akimbusire starts to clip the ends of phrases on his trumpet; the pulse speeds up behind Justin Brown’s tense drumming; Sam Harris’s piano grows into threatening waves; Harish Raghavan’s bass notes escape in small clusters like bubbles frantically rising to the surface. As the track runs out of time, the featured vocalist and percussionist Jesús Díaz enters, singing in the West African dialect Yoruba with a soothing tenor as if to beckon you towards a light.
A virtuosic trumpeter who’s also plenty decorated as a bandleader and a supporting player (he’s played trumpet for albums by Esperanza Spalding and Kendrick Lamar), Akinmusire goes great lengths to present his albums as visions that transcend instruments and improvisation. He chooses titles that read more like stray Shakespeare excerpts than names of songs or albums: The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint; “The Garden Waits for You to Match Her Wilderness”; “The Lingering Velocity of the Dead’s Ambitions”. He invites guest vocalists to take the mic on occasion, or even for an entire album. We can only imagine what he sees behind his eyelids as he closes them for the portrait on the album’s cover. Judging strictly by the sound of on the tender spot of every calloused moment, it must be a thorny but magnificent picture.

Akinmusire obsesses over the musical particulars as much as the presentation ones—even, for example, swapping in Díaz late in the process for “Tide of Hyacinth”’s original planned singer, Akimbusire’s own father. on the tender spot... seeks what Díaz achieves in that moment: peace not just despite a world of unrest, but within it—a light while submerged in the dark. The nimble, selfless interactions between the four main players here suggest that human connection is where to find it. Akinmusire, Harris, Brown, and Raghavan have now been playing together for more than a decade, and they embrace a new level of strength as a unit. On “Moon (the return amplifies the unity),” Akimbusire ends phrases by stammering on one note like a skipping record; Harris rolls over the same four-note pattern with accentuating chords in different places each time; Brown absolutely loses his shit on his drum set. “Roy,” on the other hand, finds them in complete agreement, solemnly harmonizing beneath Akimbusire’s golden vibrato for a slow, deferential salute to the late great trumpeter Roy Hargrove.

This gesture of meeting the listener halfway, of delivering a plainly beautiful moment for every one where they completely break free, reinforces the sense that Akimbusire and his band are after your immediate emotional response. Tonality, space, studio shenanigans—none of these things matter to them if the songs don’t also shed some blood or tears. It’s cerebral jazz music that doesn’t care about the synapses in your cerebral cortex as much as the air in your lungs. Harris, in particular, steps into the core of their sound with several gut-punching moments. As the band snaps together at the peak of “An Interlude (that get’ more intense),” his piano seeps and swirls like dark blue ink, into which Akinmusire dips the pointed quill of his scribbling solos.

It comes to a traffic-stopping conclusion with “hooded (read the names outloud),” which has no vocals, no bandmates, no trumpet even—just Akinmusire alone at a Rhodes keyboard, playing simple intervals. It’s a funeral procession. On past albums, Akinmusire has included tribute tracks, which spoke the names of Black victims of police murders out loud. This time, he says them with silence. It’s hard not to think back to the drowning sensation that opened the album. As his heart grows heavier, his Rhodes only gets lighter, twinkling as he walks his fingers further to the right of the keyboard; it sounds like a music box on its last rotation, plucking out its faint final notes. For maybe the first time, his melody leads the ears: As it reaches a high seventh, you know that the root is coming next to mark the album’s end. It lands, right on time, and it feels like a breath.
View the original article here
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ambrose Akinmusire - on the tender spot of every calloused moment Music Album Reviews Ambrose Akinmusire - on the tender spot of every calloused moment Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, June 25, 2020 Rating:

0 comments:

Post a Comment