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the imagined savior is far easier to paint

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iTunes Review

The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint is an ambitious, expansive work. It’s also one of the best albums of 2014. Akinmusire worked on a broad canvas on 2011’s When the Heart Emerges Glistening, but here the Oakland native stretches out even more. It’s striking how so many elements—strings, various vocalists, Mellotron, spoken word, electronics, his expanded quintet—hang together in such an unforced way. Savior starts with “Marie Christie,” a duet for Akinmusire’s assertive trumpet and Sam Harris’ quietly rippling piano. The outstanding “Our Basement (Ed)” finds Becca Stevens’ vocals shaded by The Osso String Quartet, piano, and trumpet. On the mellow and melancholy “Vartha,” guitarist Charles Altura turns in a flowing, lucid solo. Theo Bleckmann’s singing is run through effects on “Asiam (Joan),” where the band create an impressionist background that melds with the gorgeous vocal tones. “Ceaseless Inexhaustible Child (Cyntoia Brown)” rivets thanks to the intense vocals of Cold Specks, and “Richard (Conduit),” a 16-minute instrumental recorded live at the Jazz Standard in New York, closes the album.

Customer Reviews


This album is easily the best jazz album of the year thus far. I can’t wait for his US/European tour to begin, and I can’t wait to hear what music Ambrose creates over the next few years of his illustrious career.


This music is going to make history. Deep, beautiful, powerful.

Best Yet

Ambrose is one of the most unique new voices on the trumpet. This is my favorite album of his thus far. Beautiful avant garde and haunting. He has a beautiful approach to harmony, improvisation and composition. Becca Stevens on the 3rd track was also a highlight for me :)


Born: May 1, 1982 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is a forward-thinking musician with a bent toward atmospheric post-bop. Born in Oakland, California, Akinmusire showed early promise by his teens, and gigged professionally while also playing in the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble. Early encounters with such luminaries as saxophonists Joe Henderson and Steve Coleman pushed Akinmusire to focus a keen eye on his own development. He earned his bachelor's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and later his master's...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Ambrose Akinmusire

the imagined savior is far easier to paint, Ambrose Akinmusire
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