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Ambrose Akinmusire, Chris Brown Quartet 

When: Wed., June 25, 7:30 p.m. 2014
Price: $15-20
If 2011's When the Heart Emerges Glistening established Ambrose Akinmusire as a rising star in jazz, his follow-up—this year's The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint—is so bright it seems to illuminate territory we didn't know the Oakland-born trumpeter had in his kingdom. Anchored by Akinmusire's longtime band, the album is a sprawling work that uses its headliner's post-bop background as a starting point for compositional experiments, tonal explorations, tasteful excellence from guest guitarist Charles Altura, and even occasional vocals by Becca Stevens, Theo Bleckmann, and Cold Specks. The result is dusky and nimble, adventurous but beautiful. For all the talent around him, however, it is Akinmusire's trumpet—warm, clear, precise—that steals the show. His playing has always been like candy for the ear, and Imagined Savior gives us a peek at his vast artistic vision. BEN SALMON

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