Ambrose Akinmusire releases ‘Origami Harvest’

A new album from the jazz trumpeter, out on Blue Note.

Last Friday, celebrated trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire released Origami Harvest, his fourth studio album.

The six-track, hour-long record has garnered plaudits from NPR, who streamed the album a week ahead of its official release, and the New York Times, who named it a critic’s pick.

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.”

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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.”

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Listen to the album here:

And you can watch the mesmerizing 22-minute film that serves as the album’s trailer below:

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