June Brings New Albums by Jamal, Akinmusire, Lovano & Liebman


Ambrose Akinmusire will release A Rift In Decorum: Live At The Village Vanguard (Blue Note) on June 9.

(Photo: Courtesy the artist)

April showers bring May flowers. But what do May flowers bring? June album releases! There are plenty of reasons to celebrate in June—warm weather and beach days among them—but the following three album releases make for an even sunnier forecast.

On June 2, Resonance Records released Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane, a previously unissued tribute album by saxophone legends Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman. Recorded a decade ago at the Clinton Recording Studios in New York for the BBC radio show Something Else, the newly revealed session celebrates the 50-year anniversary of Coltrane’s passing with a seven-tune repertoire that spans the creative stage of Coltrane’s recorded legacy. The album, which contains nearly an hour of music, features the stellar rhythm section of pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart, as well as a 24-page booklet of photos and an essay by Grammy-winning author Ashley Kahn.

Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire has established himself as one of the top trumpeter-composers of his generation, having solidified his standing with two highly acclaimed albums for Blue Note Records, 2011’s When The Heart Emerges Glistening and 2014’s The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier To Paint (2014). On June 9, the label will release A Rift In Decorum, an expansive two-disc set recorded live at the Village Vanguard in New York City. Written and produced by Akinmusire, the album finds the trumpeter and his longtime bandmates—Sam Harris (piano), Harish Raghavan (bass) and Justin Brown (drums)—exploring 14 new and original compositions. Akinmusire wrote the opening track, “Maurice And Michael (Sorry I Didn’t Say Hello),” while serving as artist-in-residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival. It can be streamed below.

Lastly, piano icon Ahmad Jamal cements his status as an internationally renowned recording artist with the June 9 digital release of Marseille (Jazz Village/PIAS), an album described as “a very personal expression of the sincere and longstanding mutual admiration that has existed between the American pianist/composer … and French audiences.” The pianist, a recipient of the prestigious Chevalier De L’ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres, is joined on the album by longstanding associates Herlin Riley on Drums, James Cammack on bass and Monolo Badrena on percussion, as well as newcomer Abd Al Malik, a French rapper who contributes skillful arcs of spoken word. A video of the title track can be viewed here:

Collectors of Jamal’s work will have a reason to look forward to the rest of summer: a physical release of Marseille is scheduled for July 7. DB

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