Origami Harvest


ACCLAIMED TRUMPETER AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE BREAKS NEW GROUND WITH HIS 4TH BLUE NOTE ALBUM ORIGAMI HARVEST, A SURPRISINGLY FLUID STUDY IN CONTRASTS THAT PITS CONTEMPORARY CLASSICAL WILDING AGAINST DECONSTRUCTED HIP-HOP, WITH BURSTS OF LEFT-FIELD JAZZ, FUNK, SPOKEN WORK, AND SOUL WITH HELP FROM THE MIVOS QUARTET AND ART-RAP EXPATRIATE KOOL A.D. (DAS RACIST), ALONG WITH PIANIST SAM HARRIS, DRUMMER MARCUS GILMORE, AND SAXOPHONIST WALTER SMITH III.

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Composer and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire's fourth studio album began with a challenge of sorts. It was a commission from curators Judd Greenstein of Manhattan’s Ecstatic Music Festival and Kate Nordstrum of St. Paul's Liquid Music Series that began with Greenstein asking, “What's the craziest idea you have?”

Considering “challenge” and “crazy” are the order of the day, Akinmusire's reply was right on time: “I wanted to do a project about extremes and putting things that are seemingly opposite right next to each other.” The result is Origami Harvest (release date: October 12), a surprisingly fluid study in contrasts that—with help from New York's Mivos Quartet and art-rap expatriate Kool A.D. along with drummer Marcus Gilmore, pianist Sam Harris, and saxophonist Walter Smith III—pits contemporary classical wilding against deconstructed hip-hop, with bursts of left-field jazz, funk, spoken work, and soul.

 
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That the album's spirit evokes this era is no accident. These songs actively respond to societal divides, the way our politics hold us emotionally hostage, and the ever-growing list of black lives ended by structural racism. As with each of this Oakland native's works there's exquisite beauty and superb artistry here, each track a world unto itself lithely traversing moods and modes. But there's heft too, even in the title. "Origami," says Akinmusire, "refers to the different ways black people, especially men, have to fold, whether in failure or to fit a mold. Then I had a son while writing this and I thought about these cycles repeating: Harvest."

“I was thinking a lot about the masculine and the feminine. High and low art. Free improvisation versus controlled calculation. American ghettos and American affluence,” says Akinmusire. “Originally, I thought I put them all so close together that it would highlight the fact that there isn't as much space between these supposed extremes as we thought, but I don't know if that's actually the conclusion of it.” The answer, of course, is being written all around us.



Listen:

ABOVE: Stream Origami Harvest on Spotify


Album Credits:

Origami Harvest
Released October 12, 2018
Blue Note Records

Produced by Ambrose Akinmusire
Recorded by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY and Adam Munoz at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
Mixed and Master by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording, New York, NY

01 – a blooming bloodfruit in a hoodie
Written and arranged by Ambrose Akinmusire, lyrics by Victor Vasquez
Ambrose Akinmusire: Trumpet
Kool A.D.: Voice
Sam Harris: Keyboards, Piano
Michael Aaberg: Keyboards
Marcus Gilmore: Drums
Olivia De Prato: Violin
Lauren Cauley Kalal: Violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya: Viola
Mariel Roberts: Cello

02 – miracle and streetfight
Written and arranged by Ambrose Akinmusire, lyrics by Victor Vasquez
Ambrose Akinmusire: Trumpet
Kool A.D.: Voice
Sam Harris: Keyboards, Piano
Marcus Gilmore: Drums
Walter Smith: Tenor Saxophone
Olivia De Prato: Violin
Lauren Cauley Kalal: Violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya: Viola
Mariel Roberts: Cello 

03 –  Americana / the garden waits for you to match her wilderness
Written and arranged by Ambrose Akinmusire, lyrics by Victor Vasquez  
Ambrose Akinmusire: Trumpet
Kool A.D.: Voice
Sam Harris: Keyboards, Piano
Marcus Gilmore: Drums
Olivia De Prato: Violin
Lauren Cauley Kalal: Violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya: Viola
Mariel Roberts: Cello

04 – particle / spectra
Written and arranged by Ambrose Akinmusire, lyrics by Terrard Robinson  
Ambrose Akinmusire: Synthesizer, Trumpet
LmbrJck_t: Voice
Sam Harris: Piano
Marcus Gilmore: Drum
Olivia De Prato: Violin
Lauren Cauley Kalal: Violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya: Viola
Mariel Roberts: Cello

05 – Free, White and 21
Written and arranged by Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire: Voices
Olivia De Prato: Violin
Lauren Cauley Kalal: Violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya: Viola
Mariel Roberts: Cello
Marcus Gilmore: Drums
Sam Harris: Piano

06 – the lingering velocity of the deads' ambitions
Written and arranged by Ambrose Akinmusire
Ambrose Akinmusire: Trumpet
Sam Harris: Piano
Marcus Gilmore: Drums
Olivia De Prato: Violin
Lauren Cauley Kalal: Violin
Victor Lowrie Tafoya: Viola
Mariel Roberts: Cello