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Ambrose Akinmusire on Current Trumpet Greats

Ambrose Akinmusire chooses cuts by outstanding trumpeters on the scene today

Photo of Ambrose Akinmusire author Artist's Choice playlist on trumpet greats
Ambrose Akinmusire (photo by Pierrick Guidou)

There are so many ways that the trumpet is being approached today, from super straight-ahead to modern to more of an ECM, European thing. These artists are all trumpeters who continue to be creative even if they’re not always in the spotlight. A lot of them are players I’ve known since before they moved to New York, before we had record contracts; we were on the scene at the same jam sessions and things like that. What strikes me first is their sound, of course, but also their conviction and spirituality.

Avishai Cohen
“SAFETY LAND”
Triveni II (Anzic, 2012)
It’s been really interesting to see how much he’s evolved as an artist over the last few years. I first heard of him when I was in high school. He was at Berklee and [saxophonist] Dayna Stephens brought me a bootleg of him; Avishai was maybe 19 and he was amazing then. Now he’s focusing more on composition. This track is a development of what I first heard him doing. He’s creating these beautiful melodies where you have this big shape at the end.

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