The New Orleans tradition continues.
Over one hundred years after the Crescent City had given the world cornetist and jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden kicking off an amazing string of brass legends from Louis Armstrong to Wynton Marsalis to Terence Blanchard, another ground-breaking trumpet player from this storied city has emerged in the last few years. His name is Christian Scott.
Like Marsalis, Scott was born into New Orleans music - his uncle is Donald Harrison - but unlike Wynton, Scott is not dwelling on tradition at the beginning of his career before putting his own imprint on jazz. True, he plays a trumpet with a bent-up bell like Dizzy Gillespie did and borrows some of Dizzy's licks here and there, but he sounds more like a young Enrico Rava.
Last year, this promising young trumpeter began to deliver on the promise with Anthem. On that album he married his already-advanced chops with music that was open, loose, and dramatic. It was what I'd call jazz-rock fusion, but in a style that fused jazz with 21st century rock - not baby boomer rock - while still respecting the acoustic soul of straight-ahead jazz. The song structures that Scott employed still allowed plenty of room for all the players to stretch out.
It was the kind of music that's optimal for live performances. Hmmm.
That's evidently what Scott himself thought, too, and Live At Newport is the result. A document of a performance made a mere three months ago, Newport combines live versions of songs taken from Anthem and his first album Rewind That as well as a few new original compositions. Furthermore, the accompanying DVD contains the actual footage of the entire performance on the CD, as well as some extras like Christian Scott talking about his career and the record as well as some film of his band rehearsing at his old school, the Berklee College of Music in Boston. The impetus for this record and video footage was Scott's belief that jazz - especially for jazz musicians from his generation - has "turned into an academic affair" and he felt that "the artist experience" is of paramount importance. I couldn't agree more.