Ambrose Akinmusire has released his sixth studio album as bandleader, On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment.
The trumpeter’s new record, announced in May with the song “Mr Roscoe,” comes two years after his last acclaimed full-length, Origami Harvest. Akinmusire recorded these 11 new original compositions with his longtime bandmates pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown. Singer Genevieve Artadi makes an appearance on the song “Cynical Sideliners.”
On the Tender Spot, Akinmusire says, is his attempt to unpack what a blues album looks like in 2020. As he explains in a line of rhetorical questioning on 13th Floor: “Does it have to be BB King and Muddy Waters? Because they don’t exist anymore so are we saying now that the blues is dead? Do we have to go back to these albums that were created in the fifties and sixties to experience the blues?”
“I offer the opinion that blues is the sonic representation of an experience, of a shared and collective experience,” he adds, “and then I argue this to say that the experience that someone like Muddy Waters or BB King faced in Mississippi, is not so different from one that I face in 2020 in Oakland, cause shit hasn’t changed for black people.”
Stream Akinmusire’s new album here: