Formats and Editions
Composer and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire makes his Nonesuch Records debut with Owl Song on December 15, 2023. The album features a trio with two musicians Akinmusire has long admired, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Herlin Riley.
“This is my reaction to being assaulted by information,” Akinmusire says of Owl Song. “This record is me wanting to create a safe space. Part of the challenge was: Can I create something that’s oriented around open space, the way some of the records I love the most do?”
He says of his collaborators, “I had a feeling of wanting to record with Bill from the first time we played—it was a duo performance, very little rehearsal. We just played through some of my songs, and it worked. One of Bill’s special gifts is the ability to shape a piece he’s just heard for the first time. He seems to know what the music wants before the first note.
“With Herlin, his commitment to beauty you can find in the groove. I never like to tell musicians too much about what I’m going for, because it should be about what these particular people bring … I said, ‘I know you’re the right person for this because of the way you approach the groove.’ And, of course, what he did is just beautiful.” He continues, “Also, I wanted to put people together who didn’t seem like they would go together ... and it turns out they haven’t played a lot. So, it was cross generational, cross subgenre, cross whatever.”