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Christian Scott: Rewind That

Ken Franckling By

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Trumpeter Christian Scott has absorbed the essential elements of the great horn tradition of his native New Orleans, including the importance of stretching the music, just as so many before him have done, going back generations to Buddy Bolden, Joe King Oliver and Louis Armstrong and the legions who have followed.

Rewind That, Scott's debut CD, shows him to be a restless explorer who is eager to bring the best musical elements of his own generation—including rock, R&B and hip-hop—to a sound rooted deep in jazz. In that regard, he has been influenced by the nouveau swing style of his uncle, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, in whose band Scott has played regularly since age sixteen, some six years ago. Harrison comes aboard this project as a guest soloist on four tracks.

Scott's sound is refreshing in a hectic world. He's not out to stun constantly with sheer volumes of notes, though he can fire off a fusillade as needed. Each note counts for him, as do those he doesn't play. His textures and time signatures change often, and often in unexpected places.

The energy on "Say It builds and builds until it brings in a riveting guitar solo from Matt Stevens. The ballads "Like This and "She are gorgeously pensive and well-structured. "So What is one of just two non-originals here (the other is Harrison's "Paradise Found ). The musicians stretch the Miles classic without doing it any disservice; Scott and Harrison's back-to-back solos bubble with energy that feeds off an indelible rhythmic bass vamp from Luques Curtis. "Lay in Vein is a nice showcase for tenor sax work by Walter Smith and Fender Rhodes playing by Zaccai Curtis (the bassist's brother). "Caught Up is pretty and playful; "Kiel is another splendid Scott composition, which invites strong soloing all around.

This well-developed debut gives us much to enjoy and sets the stage for more to look forward to in the future from Scott and his bandmates.

Track Listing: Rewind That; Say It; Like This; So What; Rejection; Lay in Vein; She; Suicide; Caught Up; Paradise Found; Kiel.

Personnel: Christian Scott: trumpet; Walter Smith III: tenor saxophone (2-11); Matt Stevens: guitar (1-3,5-11); Zaccai Curtis: Fender Rhodes (1,2,5,6,9), Wurlitzer (3,4,7,8,11); Luques Curtis: acoustic bass (1,2,4-11), electric bass (3); Thomas Pridgen: drums. Special Guest Donald Harrison: alto saxophone (4,8,10,11).

Title: Rewind That | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Concord Music Group

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