Thursday, January 07, 2016

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah - Stretch Music (Stretch Music, 2015)

The latest album by trumpeter Christian Scott a Tunde Adjuah combines jazz with the music of the music of his hometown of New Orleans and aspects of fusion to create a fine modern mainstream jazz album. The band consists of Elena Pinderhughes on flute, Braxton Cook on alto and straight alto saxophones, Corey King on trombone, Cliff Hines on guitar, Lawrence Fields on keyboards, Kris Funn on bass, Corey Fonville and Joe Dyson Jr. on drums and percussion. “Sunrise in Bejing” has chime like keyboards, lilting flute and a very complex beat. Strong and confident horn enters and combines with the flute over the nervous percussion. The flute takes flight with a very robust and uplifting solo swirling over the complicated drums and percussion. There is a nice syncopated beat to open “Twin” with the powerful brass duet of trumpet and trombone punching through the backdrop with vigor, they circle and sway above the backdrop before there is a break for hand percussion and drums. “West of the West” has deep drums and snarling guitar, with brass and rhodes piano making for a very exciting and fun track. Distorted guitar and electric piano and drums keep the music funky, and Scott’s alternately ripe and growling trumpet keeps the music moving strongly. He reaches hard, and you do get an electric Miles vibe on this track but in a good way, he’s no copycat. The bass led track “The Corner” is short and sweet with bass and drums setting a nice groove for Braxton Cook to improvise over on alto saxophone. It sounds great, but before you know it, it’s over! “Of a New Cool” has brass and electronics making for a larger feeling to the music, yet lighter with rhodes and flute sweetening the mix. Cook has another nice feature with a fine saxophone solo, and then laying out for a beautiful spot for the piano, bass and drums team, and shimmering guest spot for Warren Wolf on vibes. Scott brings it all back home with a pithy statement of his own. There is another short spot entitled “Runnin’ Sevens” for drums and percussion which is fast paced and very exciting with the music rolling a complex rhythm in deft and daring style. “The Last Chieftain” has a lush opening with Scott arcing over guitar and keyboards, playing in a powerful, yet somber fashion. Beams of guitar lash out illuminating the rhythm section and making for a fine respite before trumpet and trombone fill the air with strong waves of powerful sound. Scott then takes to the skies solo for his most epic performance of the album, releasing compelling blast of music. This album worked quite well, drawing from various musical sources to make a cohesive whole. Scott is a very generous bandleader, allowing members of the group to take space to make statements of their own while always staying in command with good writing and powerful soloing. Christian Scott - Stretch Music

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