Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Christian Scott at Newport

Concord Music Group is at it again - pushing its young lion trumpeter Christian Scott, the New Orleans-born nephew of altoist Donald Harrison who has been tooting his own horn from a very young age - and with a very fine tone to boot (lately reminiscent of another Crescent City native, Terence Blanchard). This is Scott's third release for the Beverly Hills-based mega-label and his first live release. It drops Nov. 4th and is a CD + DVD. The concert footage was recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival this past August, where I happened to be in attendance and saw part of this set (there was a rather large crowd gathered around the Waterfront Stage). (Full disclosure: the band features a current publicity client, pianist Aaron Parks, whom I've tried to keep out of my discourse on the blog for conflict-of-interest reasons).

Despite the label pumping him up as the next big thing, the trumpeter is really part of a much larger scene of Berklee and Manhattan School-educated players in New York who often playing lush anthemic melodies with sophisticated harmonies (sometimes hinting at jazzy neo-soul). The players on the record demonstrate this scene through their various associations with other key players - Parks (who has played with virtually everyone in these circles including drummer Kendrick Scott, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, guitarist Mike Moreno, drummer Eric Harland, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and guitar hero Kurt Rosenwinkel), Walter Smith III on tenor sax (who plays frequently with Scott, Parlato, Akinmusire and fellow saxophonist Mark Small), Joe Sanders on bass (who also plays with Akinmusire), Jamire Williams on drums (who has played and recorded with Kenny Garrett) and guitarist Matt Stevens (whose only tie to this scene that I know of, is through the trumpeter - but he has been with Scott since his debut for Concord, Rewind That and is a very integral part of the Scott's sound).

Enjoy a track from the new release entitled "Died in Love":

No comments: