Ambrose Akinmusire – Live at Ronnie Scotts 2018

Last night I went to see Ambrose Akinmuserie’s Quartet play at Ronnie Scotts. Needless to say they were unbelievable!

He played alongside:

  • Sam Harris – Piano
  • Harish Raghava – Bass
  • Justin Brown – Drums

It was also nice to see a number of other famous musicians sitting in the audience too: Cecil McLorin Salvant, Aaron Diehl, and Thundercat were there to name a few.

OK, back to the review, WOW, what can I say this was a special concert. Ambrose has a real ability to take one on an entire emotional roller coaster of sound. A number a moments even sounding like he is playing out a dialogue to whatever thematic experience he is meaning to convey. Listening to Ambrose is very much like listning to the language of “Trumpet” rather than just the sound of “Trumpet”. Not sure if that makes any sense, but when you see it you will know what I mean.

There were also delicious buildups of intensity that elegantly turned into moments of solidity and calm that sent every hair on my neck standing up. The opening track in particular was just incredible, with Sam Harris coming into his element. Justin Brown on Drums also really really shined throughout the concert and the whole band were just super tight.

It was clear to me after watching Ambrose live that he really sits up there as one of today’s great Trumpet players.

This was a fantastic billing and I would rate this concert 5 starts. *****

Please, enjoy Ambrose’s 3 part composition about MAE, description from Youtube given below:

In 1939 , Ms. Mattie Mae Thomas was an inmate of the women’s wing of the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchment Farm when the place was visited by an ethnomusicologist who recorded her and some of her fellow inmates in the sewing room.

My mom’s side of the family is from Drew, Mississippi (,_Mississippi) – 10 minutes down the road from where Mattie MAE Thomas was recorded. This is where my mother Cora MAE Campbell was born.


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