The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint
Label: Blue Note (BLU)
The trumpeter's 2011 Blue Note debut, with his quintet, turned heads. But he's not doubling down on a successful formula; here we find the leader presenting a set of mostly original works, while augmenting his band with vocalists and a string quartet. Opener "Marie Christie" features spirited trumpet fireworks over gentle pianism. A guitar joins Ambrose's core group on the metrically dextrous "As We Fight (willie penrose)." When vocalist Becca Stevens enters, on "Our Basement" (ed)," next to those crisp string parts, the full and impressive canvas starts to come into view.