Christian Scott

Live at Newport

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Live at Newport finds trumpeter Christian Scott leading his ensemble through a performance at the JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, RI on August 9, 2008. Showcasing the same group that recorded Scott's critically lauded 2007 sophomore album, Anthem, Live at Newport does feature Scott branching out on some new material. Just coming into his own as jazz musician, Scott is nonetheless a talented and deft improviser and his knack for creating brooding, emotionally engaged music brings to mind a mix of '60s Miles Davis and the heady art rock of Radiohead. It doesn't hurt that his backing ensemble includes such forward-thinking artists as pianist Aaron Parks and guitarist Matt Stevens, who imbue Scott's compositions with an atmospheric and cerebral tension. While most of the music here leans toward the dramatic slow burn jazz of Scott's Anthem, cuts such as the buoyant post-bop of "James Crow Jr., Esq." and the angular "Rumor" do break up some of the heavy vibe. That said, part of Scott's talent is his ability to sustain such epic drama throughout a whole album and in that sense, Live at Newport crackles with an earnest, youthful energy. [Included is a DVD of the performance.]

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