Last Friday, celebrated trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire released Origami Harvest, his fourth studio album.
“Origami refers to the different ways black people, especially men, have to fold, whether in failure or to fit a mold,” Akinmusire explained to AFROPUNK. “Then I had a son while writing this and I thought about these cycles repeating: Harvest.”
The album started with an impulse to juxtapose oppositions and extremes, he said. “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.”
“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.”
Akinmusire, who played on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (most notably on “Mortal Man”), also works with a rapper on Origami Harvest: Kool AD, formerly of Das Racist, who spits rhymes on “a blooming bloodfruit in a hoodie”—a track that references the murder of Trayvon Martin—and “miracle and streetfight.”
Listen to the album here:
And you can watch the mesmerizing 22-minute film that serves as the album’s trailer below: