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Origami Harvest (2018)

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Ambrose Akinmusire

Composer and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire's fourth studio album Origami Harvest began with a challenge of sorts. It was a commission from curators Judd Greenstein of Manhattan’s Ecstatic Music Festival and Kate Nordstrum of St. Paul's Liquid Music Series that began with Greenstein asking, “What's the craziest idea you have?” Considering “challenge” and “crazy” are the order of the day, Akinmusire's reply was right on time: “I wanted to do a project about extremes and putting things that are seemingly opposite right next to each other.” The result is a surprisingly fluid study in contrasts that—with help from New York's Mivos Quartet and art-rap expatriate Kool A.D. along with drummer Marcus Gilmore, pianist Sam Harris, and others—pits contemporary classical wilding against deconstructed hip-hop, with bursts of left-field jazz, funk, spoken word, and soul.