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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future of Jazz, April 9, 2011
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This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
Hello & thanks for reading. Here we have what I like to refer to as the future of jazz because Ambrose & the guys on this album are all young men in their prime.
These are the next batch of players like the masters that came before that are taking the music to fresh areas of expression & into the future. Anyhow here you have the second album by 29yr old trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire a native of Oakland CA that now resides in the fertile jazz scene of NYC. Ambrose has been playing & performing on the international jazz scene for more than a decade first coming to my attention in 2000 as a member of Steve Coleman's Five Elements appearing on Resistance Is Futile. In my opinion Ambrose stands out in a scene with a great number of heavy hitting trumpeters not just because he has chops to spare but because the man is a composer of the first rate.

If I had to make a comparison I'd say he & Terrence Blanchard are in the same musical sphere but that would make sense because Ambrose studied with Blanchard while attending The Monk Institute. All things aside I believe Ambrose is only at the start of his journey.

I always like to acknowledge the supporting cast of an album. Ambrose has assembled an awesome quintet to realize his compositions. Walter Smith iii on tenor is one of my personal favorites working today, he's developed a unique sound on his horn and featured Ambrose on his latest album for Criss Cross III as well as his two previous albumsLive in Paris &Casually Introducing. Justin Brown is on drums reprising his role from Ambrose's 1st albumPrelude (to Cora). In my opinion Brown's drumming is excellent for this music because you need a 21st century drummer to play music that's fresh like the music here, also Brown & Ambrose have grown up together allowing a chemistry seldom found in alot of todays jazz recordings. Justin's drumming touches on many styles & cultures, I hear serious Afro-Cuban blended with the church & hip hop. He's able to coax a tremendous amount of varied sounds from his snare & toms that has that very tribal African feel to it a la Eric Harland. Check out "My Name is Oscar" a drum composition that isn't like a typical drum solo hence the use of the words "drum composition" it features Justin's playing with interesting audio clips of monologue layered within which shows a serious talent, this man is smoking!
On acoustic bass Harish Raghavan a new name to me, I first heard him laying it down behind pianist Taylor Eigsti on his cd Let It Come to You Harish commands a dark fat clear tone that supports the low end duties of the harmony with ease while stepping forward now & again to let know he's there at just the right moments. Gerald Clayton is playing piano and boy does he play! You may never guess that your hearing a 26 yr old, he has plenty of chops at the keyboard but he usually never allows them to dominate his playing instead a poised elegance with groove that can swing I always think he sounds a bit like Wynton Kelly with shades of Bill Evans & Oscar Peterson. Check out Clayton's newest trio offeringBond: The Paris Sessions .The reason I believe this music has the sparks that it does is because all the band members are a tight group of musical partners & they're friends after the music stops.

There's no generational gap between the players they're all young men living their dream & I must say the music they produce together is very beautiful. Here are a few of the albums musical high moments for me personally. The lead off track Confessions to My Unborn Daughter is a beautiful ensemble piece that is very dynamic & contains some unpredictable twists as well as light & dark harmony, the piece reminds me at times of Brian Blade's FellowShip Group. Henya bass intro features some nice melodic solo playing from Harish Raghavan which segues seamlessly into Henya which is a beautiful melodic ballad that has Jason Moran stepping in to join Clayon's acoustic piano on Fender Rhodes. The harmony reminds me of the way Mingus or Monk used dissonance to represent beauty like Good Bye Porkpie Hat & Ruby My Dear, the melody is very simple & quite catchy. This music seems to be more introspective & lyrical in comparison to Prelude (to Cora)but there are lots of nice burning moments of intensity especially from the soloists. I feel the tension created within the music is always well balanced along side the more romantic chamber aspect of this music. Ambrose delivers a masterful trumpet performance on the hauntingly beautiful Regret(No More) he really makes the trumpet sing in ways I'v personally never experienced until now. With that final remark I'll close by saying I think this album When The Heart Emerges Glistening is a fantastic piece of beautiful music that must be heard & experienced to fully appreciate. Check this one out!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, April 8, 2011
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This kid has been around for 10+ years now, though this is only his second solo album, but he has played on many other albums. Ambrose is a fantastic artist; he has a great sound and surrounds himself with some really good talent. This album is beautiful, interesting, and just a lot of fun to listen to. The mood of his falls inline with what some of the really cool trumpeters of today are putting out, while still creating something totally unique. I highly recommend this album.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars groundbreaking, September 16, 2011
This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
I had read quite a few positive reviews about it before, but still this album beat my high expectations. It offered a totally new listening experience, allowing general audience members like me to appreciate jazz from a different perspective. When his heart emerges glistering, Ambrose Akinmusire seems to have a lot of stories to tell. No matter they are tragedy or romance, the young trumpeter tells the stories brilliantly, with seamless interactions with the other fellows in the band, particularly Walter Smith III, an outstanding saxophonist in his own right. I would highly recommend this album to anyone who wants to hear what's so exciting about jazz today.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet!, July 29, 2011
By 
David Conklin (Albuquerque, NM USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
I knew that Mr. Akinmusire had serious chops after hearing him guest on one of David Binney's most recent records. Still, I wasn't sure what to expect from him as a leader and composer, and I held off for a while on purchasing this CD. Terms like "pop-sensibility" (used by some to describe it) made me wary, thinking it might be a bit too commercial for my taste. No worries--this is creative (and essential) modern jazz--a compelling, tasteful, artistic set of tracks, with fine playing all around. Very highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best out there, December 16, 2011
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Concerned But Powerless "loqutous" (Mount Vernon, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
I just bought this and cannot stop listening to it. First of all the songs chosen for this album are beautiful in their own right. But on top of that the improvisation, musicianship and inventiveness makes this album a treasure.

Ambrose and Walter truly complement each other and a solo from either one is top notch; the supporting players are also solid and inventive. Another thing that grabs me about the album is the variety of tempo, and styles which is why I think I keep listening and listening to it. There are mid-tempo, slow and fast songs. There are quiet and loud passages/songs. There is even some spoken words. And all performed at a high level of musicianship and creativity. But having said that, the album is cohesive an has a somber/serious theme throughout.

My biggest regret is discovering them after they performed in NYC. I can't wait for their return and the opportunity to listen to more of their work in the future.

I will treasure album for years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I must be dreaming...., March 19, 2014
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This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
Nothing has thrilled or inspired me more than the first time I heard Miles.....until now. Mr. Akinmusire is not of this world. Like Miles, his senses are not limited to 5. His music is complex and riveting. After hearing this masterpiece, I bought his 3rd album, "the imagined savior is far easier to paint." He is unique and extraordinary. I am honored to be introduced to his music. (NOTE: his liner notes--written by him--are poetically beautiful).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, inspiring jazz of a new generation, October 20, 2012
By 
Michael Martak "michaelmartak" (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
I heard this on KCSM and was instantly impressed. Ambrose is one of the most warm and intimate sounding trumpet player since Miles. I'm equally impressed with the rest of the group. This is REAL jazz, the not the watered-down stuff that passes for it.

I thoroughly recommend this if you like Miles' quintet (Shorter/Hancock/Williams/Carter), Coltrane's quartet (Jones/Tyner/Garrison), or just appreciate that there is someone out there today making this kind of music. It's long overdue.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING ARTIST., May 15, 2011
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This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
This young man is brilliant; his music is amazing and will sweep you off of your feet. I fell in love all over again just listening to him. I look forward to the purchasing of all of his music.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!, May 21, 2011
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Mila B. (San Jose, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
Ambrose is an underestimated Jazz musical who is captureing the world's attention one song at a time. Do not sleep on his creativity and originality. My three year old and I love this CD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for the jazz afficienados..., November 25, 2014
By 
OH Packerfan "Go Pack Go" (Cincinnati, OH United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Audio CD)
I enjoy jazz, but am not literate enough in its nomenclature to be able to discuss in as articulate a fashion as some of those who have posted here. Let me just say to the casual jazz fan, you too can & will enjoy this disk: it is not strictly for the hard core afficienados. To me it sounds very much rooted in the bebop of Miles & others of the 58-60 golden era of jazz, yet at the same time entirely fresh & unique.
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When the Heart Emerges Glistening
When the Heart Emerges Glistening by Ambrose Akinmusire (Audio CD - 2011)
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