Joshua Trinidad

Denver-based trumpeter-composer Joshua Trinidad makes a strikingly original statement on his RareNoise  debut, In November. Recorded in Giske, Norway, this highly evocative trio outing features the adventurous Norwegian guitarist-composer and ECM recording artist Jacob Young (of InterStatic) and drummer Stale Liavik Solberg, a central figure on Oslo’s improvising music scene.

Brimming with deep and winding lyricism, Trinidad’s elegiac seventh album as a leader is a compelling mix of bold long tones on trumpet, atmospheric guitar artistry, fluid melodic invention and daring group improv, all delivered with rare authority by the three intrepid improvisers. 

Growing up in Denver, Trinidad gravitated to trumpet at the early age of seven and later developed under the tutelage of some of the Mile High City’s finest trumpeters, including Hugh Ragin, Walter Barr, Al Hood and Ron Miles. While studying music at the University of Colorado at Denver, Trinidad learned piano while also soaking up the sounds of jazz trumpet.

The first time I heard some serious jazz trumpet playing was on the early ‘60s recordings that my mom used to play for me of Tony Bennett with Count Basie’s OrchestraSonny Cohn’s playing on those records were some of the first sounds of trumpet that I can remember. I also grew up listening to Miles Davis and Lee Morgan and as I got older, into 20’s, I began listening to Arturo SandovalJon Hassell and some other trumpeters of today such as Cuong Vu, Erik Truffaz and, most notably, Nils Petter Molvaer.

Joshua Trinidad

Equally, the love for music from Scandinavia plays out in Trinidad’s zen-like restraint heard throughout In November. It’s an approach that has far less to do with the hot, extroverted style of bebop and hard bop trumpeters like Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, Fats Navarro and early Miles Davis than the cooler, more ambient approach of Scandinavian trumpeters such as Mathias Eick and Nils Petter Molvaer or Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, whose signature brooding ECM albums had a direct impact on him.