Trumpeter and composer Charlie Porter released an impressive self-titled 2018 debut recording that featured tracks ranging progressively from solo to sextet settings, then reversed back the other way. The Juilliard grad waxes conceptual on his sophomore recording, Immigration Nation (OA2), as well, this time tackling the immigrant experience. A descendent of Lebanese, Greek, Italian and English immigrants to the United States, Porter treats the subject with great compassion through two song cycles, "Leaving Home" and "New Beginnings," which conjure the fear, excitement, resentments and eventual acceptance of people striving for a better life in a new country.
Kicking off the second suite, "The Privileged Few" begins with a solo fanfare from Porter's burnished horn before he's joined by the rest of his sextet in a joyful but tempered expression of optimism. "I wrote 'The Privileged Few' as an examination of privilege on many levels," the trumpeter writes in the album's liner notes. "Though monothematic, it highlights the dichotomy of the privileged vs. the underprivileged by vacillating between two distinct worlds of sound." Soulful solos by pianist Oscar Perez and tenor saxophonist Nick Biello help Porter achieve his vision, which is also poignantly voiced in his own nuanced performance.