Ambrose Akinmusire in Durham tonight (10/12/2012)
AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE For a new-school trumpet hotshot tipped to claim the mantle of Miles Davis, Ambrose Akinmusire sure doesn’t act like an enfante terrible. Though Akinmusire can blow as fierce as Freddie Hubbard, or as fluid as Clifford Brown, his focus is on team-playing. He’s just as likely to share the spotlight with his band as he is to improvise with slashing jabs and smoky tones. With influences ranging from Robert Johnson to Joni Mitchell, Akinmusire’s compositions value emotion over virtuosity. Indeed, many tracks on his breakout LP, When the Heart Emerges Glistening, began as written narratives, complete with dialogue. Once the message and the atmosphere was set in Akinmusire’s head, the scripts were thrown away and the instrumentals recorded. With his mix of musical invention and blunt emotionalism, Akinmusire proves that all the technique in the world goes for nought if “it don’t mean a thing.” $24. Oct. 12-13, 9 p.m. Casbah Durham, 1007 W. Main St., Durham. 919-687-6969.