Akinmusire – a graduate of Berkeley High School’s renowned jazz program with degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Southern California and the Monk Institute in Los Angeles – seems to be the most academically inclined of the bunch, but the opposite is true. He’s actually an iconoclast who’s thrived just because he’s made everyone come around to seeing things his way.
The thing that strikes me about Trapped in a Dream is how the music really suits the name of the song. While I am listening to it, I feel like I am dreaming. There are flashes of insight: at times the chords seem to be leading somewhere purposeful, but then return back to the comfort and lull of a deep dream-filled sleep. The way it ends is with a hypnotic drum sequence which suggests to me that I am soon going to wake up and face reality again.