Ambrose Akinmusire
The Imagined Sailor Is Far Easier To Paint



by Tb1114 USER (9 Reviews)
September 6th, 2018 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The status of 21st century jazz.

Rollcall for those absent...

In this album you will realize the full dimension of heartbreak.

Amaduo Diallo.

Heartbreak is not just a schism between supposed lovers. It is the falling of a child. It is the oppression of a people. It is the frailty of faith and the pugilistic exchange with hope.

Eric Garner.

After listening, you could write this album off as mere contemporary-jazz fanfare. You may admit this album would have a much deeper impact to other individuals than yourself. You could say formally-educated trumpeter Akinmusire is a collegiate virtuoso playing a pretend jazz-savant. You could even say this album is a mopey bummerfest. In all truth, though, Akinmusire has indisputable talent.

Patrick Dorismond.

In this era of “social justice”, there are bellows for reigniting the rebel spirit of the ‘60’s coming from the underserved and underrecognized. In the jazz of the ‘60’s, freedom was almost tangible. Their seemingly beginningless suffering compounded itself for centuries… up until its sweet spiritual exaltation emanated from the fingertips of wizards like Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders.

Michael Brown.

And although Akinmusire is not close to the realm of greatness and experimentation those predecessors met - and although he may come off as a little too on-the-nose, that original spirit lives on in his music and on this album.

Alton Sterling.

Akinmusire & co. have the ability to send the ordinary into a higher plane. The names shared in this review... the names uttered in the track “Rollcall for Those Absent” - they’re just names. We gave no backstory. Just names and a title. But they’re more than just names and a title, aren’t they? They carry an impact. They carry a story. There is a dire context behind them transcending simple pronoun. Between the notes - between the melodies - between the hypnotic improvisation of keys and brass - between the theatrical performances of otherworldly vocalisation - there’s a story.

Trayvon Martin.

There’s a story told on this album. In this Spotify age it’s one thing to check-off another “must-listen-to jazz album” from your list, criticize the direction and performance of the album then move on to the next one… but this album is more than that. Don’t get me wrong, it has flaws. Two particular tracks (“Bubbles” & “Richard”) are forgettable and meandering. But the rest speaks volumes in a way jazz hasn’t in half a century. “Our Basement”, “Vartha”, “The Beauty of Dissolving Portraits”, etc. are pivotal moments of frisson any self-proclaimed jazzhead must give a listen to.

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user ratings (29)

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 8th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

yoooo props on review him, he's an underrated talent

September 8th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks! Criminally underrated. Definitely someone in the jazz world now I keep an eye on

November 13th 2020


nice review, i enjoyed this. album is typo'd in the database though, it's Savior not Sailor lol

Staff Reviewer
November 13th 2020


lmaoooo I WAS just like “damn sailor seems kinda random and I remember it being something else”

I think the song I loved was “Asiam”

September 18th 2021


Album Rating: 4.5

This is so good and overlooked... One of the best jazz records of 2014 for sure

Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2021


I love that this is still “Sailor”. “Our basement” is the best song, this guy is real good

September 18th 2021


Album Rating: 4.0

Very good agreed. I prefer Origami Harvest but only by a little. He is a very underappreciated artist

September 18th 2021


Album Rating: 4.0

Also nice review. Fits the style of the album well

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