June 27th, 2014
Alto saxophonist Darius Jones has a deep-soulful sound that can pur, bark, soothe, and savage. The Brooklyn-based hornman is emerging as a one of the most talented and exciting leaders in an increasingly packed field. As a leader and composer, he displays savvy, intuitive skills that are equally moving and thrilling. Fittingly, then, he teams here with Tarbaby, an “expandable, organic situation” that Ben Ratliff explained in the New York Times: They are “loud and authoritative and elastic within composed boundaries,” and listening to them “you feel they’re in a continuous tradition — you can hear the learning in their hands — and yet they’re all over the place.” They’re that good. No wonder, when they boast as core members the Grammy Award-winning bassist and composer Eric Revis, on keyboards Aruán Ortiz, and on drums, one of their most riveting current exponents, Nasheet Waits.
June 27th, 2014
Last night at the Seattle Art Museum, Ambrose Akinmusire kicked off the Earshot Jazz 2014 Summer Concert series.
Blue Note recording artist Ambrose Akinmusire is a trumpeter and composer who has gone from strength to strength since winning the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the 2007 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition. He has since taken such honors as DownBeat’s 2012 trumpeter of the year title, and several others. As that would suggest, his albums, including When the Heart Emerges Glistening and the imagined savior is far easier to paint, both on Blue Note, have won critical acclaim. His forward-reaching compositions have earned him a commission from New York’s Jazz Gallery and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation’s MAP Fund and Chamber Music America’s French-American Jazz Exchange Program. In 2011, he debuted his star-studded Big Band on one of the world’s most renowned stages, Carnegie Hall. The following year he was named Artist-in-Residence at the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival. The latest Blue Note album of the forward-thinking, Oakland-raised musician “with a bent toward atmospheric post-bop,” as Blue Note puts it, was out in March: the imagined savior is far easier to paint. His quintet collaborators are Walter Smith (tenor sax), Sam Harris (piano), Harish Raghavan (bass), and Justin Brown (drums).