Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Christian Scott - Christian aTunde Adjuah (Concord Jazz, 2012)

Trumpeter Christian Scott develops an ambitious program on this album that stretches over the course of two discs. Including everything from burnouts to ballads and incorporating aspects of electronica soundscapes along with subtle delay and looping, the music is quite a journey, pulling many threads of music into a modern jazz whole. Scott is joined by Matthew Stevens on guitar, Jamire Williams on drums, Kris Funn on bass and Lawrence Fields on piano. Special guests include Kenneth Whalum III on tenor saxophone, Louis Fouche IIII on alto saxophone, and Corey King on trombone. Scott’s trumpet is particularly strong and vibrant, especially on the uptempo numbers, and appropriately bruised and vulnerable on ballads. The urgency of “New New Orleans” is quite impressive because the guitar, bass and drums accompaniment is malleable, ebbing and flowing like the tide under Scott’s powerful horn. With the extra space the musicians are able to weave a tableau on a large scale, developing a nice guitar and piano feature on “Vs. The Kleptocratic Union” and allowing Scott to patiently build in atmospheric late-night foggy horn on the ballad “Keil.” Intricate interwoven lines of music power the fast “Jihad Joe,” a bubbling uptempo composition with active drums and bass. Scott really reaches for the sky here, leaning into the music against scalding guitar and making the performance the centerpiece of the lengthy and enthusiastic album. Christian aTunde Adjuah -

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