What we know so far and where we know it from about A Rift In Decorum: Live At The Village Vanguard, a new live double CD release scheduled for June by trumpeter-bandleader-composer Ambrose Akinmusire.
No word from the issuing record label Blue Note at all so far but I guess that will change soon when the label and other Universal sites put more notifications up about the release on their various channels, but here is what we have on A Rift In Decorum: Live At The Village Vanguard.
Amazon UK give 9 June as the release date as does its big brother US site. Both indicate the album is available as a 2-CD set. No other formats confirmed so far, assume digital as a given. There is no album cover there on these sites yet but Twitter user @yumastersounds posted the above image which looks very much like the cover. The main image appears to be a painting by ‘passersby’ portraitist Jaeyeol Han. The Allmusic site is listing track titles, 16 in all. Titles seem to be: Maurice and Michael (Sorry I Didn’t Say Hello), Response, Moment in Between the Rest (To Curve an Ache), Brooklyn, A Song To Exhale To (Diver Song), Purple (Intermezzo), Trumpet Sketch (Milky Pete), Taymoor’s World, First Page (Shabnam’s Poem), H.A.M.S (In Spirit of Honesty), Piano Sketch (Sam's Intro), Piano Sketch (Beyond Enclosure), Condor, Condor (Harish Intro), Withered and Umteyo. “Sam’s intro”? That may well refer to pianist Sam Harris. The “Harish intro” on Condor a reference to Ambrose bassist Harish Raghavan who is the third member of Ambrose’s quartet, the road band completed by drummer Justin Brown. NB: the personnel line-up is not listed anywhere so far just to make this clear.
Last we heard of Akinmusire, in late-2016, was as a sideman conjuring an exquisite Kenny Wheeler-like sound on Rising Grace, an incredibly high powered band album that featured the US trumpet star in mainly superstar company alongside pianist Brad Mehldau and Brad’s trio bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Brian Blade from the Wayne Shorter Quartet all as playing partners in Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel’s inspirational lead company. The 35-year-old Californian-raised player’s last album as a leader was the superb The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paintin 2014. By choosing the Vanguard, New York’s most revered jazz club, for a live album Akinmusire and his label are making a statement of intent and cements the 2007 Monk prize-winning trumpeter’s place at the heart of jazz venue live album myth given the club’s history as the shrine of shrines for live jazz recordings that so far has encompassed albums by anyone and everyone from most astonishingly Bill Evans and John Coltrane as well as Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Gerry Mulligan, Kenny Burrell and Junior Mance.
A very serious and sombre record, it floats in space and lingers, notions of beat and static rhythm largely absent at least overtly given that there is no bass or drums. Only a distant tracing of each is inferred. Mat Maneri’s viola mines tiny details and his approach is such that he does not take the obvious potential of the instrument in that he does not have to plumb the rich sonorities the putatively swollen violin can provide instead choosing to dig out routes towards a new dissonance that you never thought were navigable. A mood of elegy is woven by the three in an elaborately abstract tapestry so fine that you can hardly see the needlepoint. Evan Parker is as reflective as he is customarily exploratory and more relevant than ever, sounding different here, and at just under an hour it is an album that does not outstay its welcome, its intensity level ringing peak after peak the more introverted it becomes, the three masterfully controlling stark silence and space to blaze and quietly burn. Amid the 10 pieces of the studio set recorded in 2014 in Paramus, New Jersey, pianist Lucian Ban’s role is probably the most intriguing: he manages to paint a very full canvas without the need for a massive sense of attack, sometimes numbing the heightened mood with his jaggedly crawling harmonic trajectory that on ‘This!’ for instance taps what sounds like a new way to rewrite Monk. A very different sound to when Maneri performs in trio with Craig Taborn and Ches Smith that trio works better together because there is a firmer architecture. And yet there is plenty to savour and admire in terms of individual moments on Sounding Tears even in its sober and considerable relentlessness. Mat Maneri, aboveleft-to right, Lucian Ban and Evan Parker will be touring in the autumn following on from the release of their album at the end of May. Dates include the Northern Rock Foundation Hall at the Sage, Gateshead, on 21 October.