Forward-thinking jazz trumpeter Christian Scott has built a career balancing both jazz tradition and commercial expectation with a sound that touches upon modal jazz, contemporary R&B, experimental hip-hop, and ruminative art-rock. The 2014 Scott anthology, Christian Scott Collection, compiles tracks off his various Concord albums including 2006's Rewind That, 2007's Anthem, 2010's Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, 2011's Ninety Miles, and 2012's Christian a Tunde Adjuah. While Scott's overall approach to making jazz is an eclectic cross-genre one, his sound has remained largely cohesive. Working with a regular crew of sidemen, including guitarist Matthew Stevens, keyboardist Lawrence Fields, bassist Kristopher Keith Funn, and drummer Jamire Williams, among others, Scott quickly developed a group concept for his wide-ranging compositions. While his warm, harmonically adventurous trumpet playing brings to mind the influence of such titans as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard, his overall sound is anything but straight-ahead and traditional. Songs like arid "Eraser" and the languid, dramatic "American't," while certainly registering as instrumental, improvisational music, have as much in common with the ruminative, experimental post-rock of bands like Radiohead and Tortoise as they do with any instrumental jazz. Even when Scott delves deep into sultry, laid-back soul-jazz as he does on the half-lidded slow jam, "Like That," it ends up sounding less like a vintage '70s CTI recording (although that does come to mind) and more like a contemporary Christian Scott recording. Ultimately, with Christian Scott Collection, it's evident just how well Scott's highly cross-pollinated jazz holds together from album to album.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar