Feature Photo: Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

Danny Evans and Louise Edwards

From left, pianist Sam Harris, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown play compositional jazz at Joseph R. Clonick Recording Studio Sunday. Attendees filled the Studio past capacity, receiving the musicians — who performed as the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet — fervently.

Akinmusire, who has collaborated with jazz luminaries like Steve Coleman and appeared on rapper Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, was born in Oakland, CA. The trumpeter has gained recognition from NPR and The Chicago Tribune for his rhythmically complex, improvisation-heavy pieces; additionally, he won the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2007.

Akinmusire’s 2014 album, the imagined savior is far easier to paint, broadens his already-wide musical range, incorporating a string quartet and a guitarist. It also touches on relevant political subjects, featuring a vocal recording of a young girl listing the names of Black people killed in instances of police brutality. Akinmusire, Harris, Raghavan and Brown reflected the stylistic breadth of the imagined savior is far easier to paint in their performance Sunday. They maintained a cohesive sound while pushing the boundaries of jazz as a genre through their utilization of drone notes, unorthodox song structures and impressionistic harmonies.