13 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire’s When the Heart Emerges Glistening is an important statement that should be heard in its entirety. Akinmusire works with an excellent group — tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown — that draws on jazz of the last fifty years to make something personal. The charged first track, “Confessions to My Unborn Daughter” opens with unaccompanied trumpet, immediately announcing the directly personal nature of this effort. A nice bass intro leads into “Henya,” a piece that displays the band’s reflective side and spotlights Akinmusire’s mastery of slow tempo playing. “My Name Is Oscar,” a duet for drums and spoken word, is a tribute to Oscar Grant, an unarmed African-American man who was killed by a transit officer in Oakland in 2009. The powerful piece contrasts Akinmusire’s flat reading with the building fury of Brown’s drums. An echoing trumpet opens “The Walls of Lechuguilla,” a high-energy update of hard bop with a hint of late ’60s Miles Davis. The lyrical “Ayneh” brings the album to a quiet, moving close.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire’s When the Heart Emerges Glistening is an important statement that should be heard in its entirety. Akinmusire works with an excellent group — tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown — that draws on jazz of the last fifty years to make something personal. The charged first track, “Confessions to My Unborn Daughter” opens with unaccompanied trumpet, immediately announcing the directly personal nature of this effort. A nice bass intro leads into “Henya,” a piece that displays the band’s reflective side and spotlights Akinmusire’s mastery of slow tempo playing. “My Name Is Oscar,” a duet for drums and spoken word, is a tribute to Oscar Grant, an unarmed African-American man who was killed by a transit officer in Oakland in 2009. The powerful piece contrasts Akinmusire’s flat reading with the building fury of Brown’s drums. An echoing trumpet opens “The Walls of Lechuguilla,” a high-energy update of hard bop with a hint of late ’60s Miles Davis. The lyrical “Ayneh” brings the album to a quiet, moving close.

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