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Stream new Ambrose Akinmusire and Ben Allison CDs

seb.
Co-Founder
s.helary [at] nextbop.com

Ambrose Akinmusire's and Ben Allison's new albums have just taken the jazz internet by storm and we wouldn't really be doing our job if we didn't let you know about it.

Ambrose Akinmusire, winner of the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, is releasing his debut Blue Note album entitled When the Heart Emerges Glistening tomorrow, April 5th, but the whole thing can be streamed on Spinner's Full CD Listening Party for a week starting today. Here's a quick description by Blue Note:

Co-produced by Akinmusire and his label mate and mentor Jason Moran, the album's 12 songs (10 of which were composed by Akinmusire) feature the 28-year-old trumpeter's young quintet (tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III, pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown), a close-knit group of longtime friends and frequent collaborators that breathes a remarkable collective identity. The New York Times wrote that the quintet "seems destined for much wider recognition," and described their unique sound as "limber, straight-ahead jazz with mystery and pop instincts that gets around most of the old, pervasive mainstream influences, both of trumpet playing and bandleading."

Nextbop artist Ben Allison is also releasing a new album on April 12th. This one's entitled Action-Refraction and it can be streamed for a week on NPR's First Listen. Here's the official blurb:

The release of Action-Refraction marks gifted bassist, composer and bandleader Ben Allison's 10th album - and first collection of music by other artists. To celebrate his 10th release, Ben has turned his ear towards the music of some of his favorite artists, creating an inspired, atmospheric - and at times, art-rock - mixtape featuring the music of PJ Harvey, Donny Hathaway, Thelonious Monk, Neil Young, Samuel Barber and Roger Nichols. The idea was sparked when Ben wondered how it would sound to refract some of his favorite tunes through the prism of an electro-acoustic orchestra featuring two electric guitars, bass clarinet, saxophone, analog synthesizer, piano, acoustic bass and drums. "The album is full of 'happy accidents' unplanned moments that capture a musical conversation in flux" adds Ben. "Jackie-ing" by Monk is given an orchestrated intro reminiscent of 1960s Sci-Fi thriller music. A longtime PJ Harvey follower, "Missed" is one of his favorites. "Some Day We'll All Be Free" is melodic and driving, yet features noise collages made by an analog tape played through a guitar pick-up ("Donny Hathaway meets Pierre Schaeffer"). Recorded the same week as the historic Don't Ask Don't Tell vote, Ben remakes Neil Young's "Philadelphia" by stripping it bare. "St. Ita's Vision" (Samuel Barber) is a nod to Sun Ra and "We've Only Just Begun" begins in three different tempos. "Broken," the lone original on the record, "references the minimalism / process music of Karel Goeyvaerts," says Allison, "and its polar opposite - the work of Yngwie Malmsteen!" Action-Refraction features Ben Allison on bass with Steve Cardenas (guitar), Rudy Royston (drums), Jason Lindner (keyboards), Michael Blake (bass clarinet, tenor sax) and, on two tracks, the addition of Brandon Seabook (guitar).