Since arriving as a bandleader on 2008's Prelude to Cora, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire proved a forward-thinking musician. He surveys post-bop, ballads, free jazz, and funk with equanimous enthusiasm, mashing them up seamlessly; he presents himself in virtually every situation as a bold leader as well as a sympathetic sideman and collaborator. His egalitarian view of music, from classical to hip-hop and all stops in between, offers a portrait of a musician capable of redrawing his instrument's role in jazz. At 19, Akinmusire toured as a member of Steve Coleman and the Five Elements; it proved formative in shaping his future aesthetic vision. At 28, his second album and Blue Note debut, 2011's When the Heart Emerges Glistening, revealed the already mature, expansive dimensions in his playing, writing, and arranging that took modal ...
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