Regrets No More

This is the title of a composition by young trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, whose band I heard/saw last Saturday in Madrid. The tight band gave a great concert, mostly of the leaders compositions, with the exception of a piece each by drummer Justin Brown and bass player Harish Raghavan. To make the quintet full they had as well Walter Smith III on sax and pianist Sam Harris on stage. The set was was comprised of tracks from the Blue Note album, ‘When the heart emerges’, plus a few new tracks. Ambrose is an amazing talent – his sound is clear and beautiful and his use of dynamics incredible, he is a great improviser and a fantastic composer of challenging, but fascinating music.

Maybe it was me, or the venue, but I didn’t have any ‘goose bump moments’ and for me they are very important in a concert – it shows that the music does not only intellectually touch and/or challenge you, but emotionally as well. The beautiful piece Regret No More, played just by Ambrose and Sam as a duo, was the only piece getting close to touch me deeply …

Ambrose and Corey Wilkes are for me the two trumpeter for the future, but neither of them is yet a challenge to Roy Hargrove, who is holding the top position here still. I am sure they will challenge him and Wynton and Payton soon…….


Going back to an earlier blog – Take Five – I just saw and heard that they will be playing some of the summer festivals this July – notably Molde Jazz and North Sea Jazz. I am really looking forward to this, they have been so great and the few things I heard at the Take Five week were amazing – and I have been told that the concert they did at the end of the week was absolutely stunning.

One of the participants, Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen, gave me a copy of the latest release of his group bushman’s revenge (Rune Grammofon): the album is titled ‘a little bit of big bonanza’ and is a heavy jazz/rock guitar affair, influenced by Sonny Sharrock, whose composition ‘as we used to sing’ they perform beside all other tracks written by guitarist Even Helte Hermansen – this is one hell of a record and one to watch out for!!

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