Tom Harrell, Something Gold, Something Blue (High Note)
Harrell’s front-line partners in this stimulating venture are fellow trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and the adventuresome guitarist Charles Altura, each more than three decades younger than the leader. They blend and contrast through eight Harrell compositions and a standard song. There is nothing in the music to indicate the age difference. Indeed, Harrell’s lyricism and audacious harmonic example continue to set standards for musicians of several generations. Each of the soloists has his moments in this generally restrained collection; exhibitionism would be out of place when talent and expressiveness run so deep. The highlights include a succession of notable solo moments in the modal “Trances;” blues implications in ”Keep on Goin’”; the exoticism of “Delta of the Nile;” and the trumpet exchanges in a relaxed “Body and Soul.” Bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Jonathan Blake, longtime Harrell colleagues, are superb throughout.