Christian Scott -Live At Newport


Release date: November 4th 2008

Recorded live at the JVC Jazz Festival, Newport RI, August 9th, 2008

Availability: CD+DVD, MP3 Download, iTunes

 Live At Newport cover

Recorded almost fifty years to the day that Miles Davis scored his Newport Jazz Festival triumph, Christian Scott should win almost equal acclaim for this fine live set at the August 2008 event.

The core of the band is the same as that for the excellent album "Anthem" - Christian Scott (trumpet), Aaron Parks (piano), Matt Stevens (guitar) – with Joe Sanders (bass) and Jamire Williams (drums) and Walter Smith III (tenor saxophone) added.

As on that album, Aaron Parks uses his modern Coldplay/Keane vamping piano to provide rock dynamics that open up new possibilities in jazz. Jamire Williams, at times Terreon Gully-like in intensity, adds to the rock influences.

Adding Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone allows new harmonized horn sections to emerge in addition to deep and involving solos from this underrated musician. Matt Stevens on guitar makes the most of the instrument in adding to the textures created on piano, in fine solos and by contributing two new compositions, "Rumor" and "The Crawler".

But it is Christian Scott's trumpet playing that is the real nerve centre. Openly admiring of Miles Davis, his approach is anything but derivative. He comes closest with his two new ballads "Died In Love" and "Isadora" and on Matt Stevens' "The Crawler", where understated, cool economy worthy of Miles is employed to create real beauty. Yet elsewhere, on the more fullsome blowing passages, the impression is more of the young Freddie Hubbard, open, lyrical, inventive.

There are newly reworked and extended versions of two tracks from "Anthem" (the title track and "Litany Against Fear") and one from Christian Scott's first album "Rewind That" (again the title track). There is also a strong new composition with Louis Fouche ("James Crow Jr., Esq.").

The accompanying DVD covers all the tracks recorded at Newport with the exception of "The Crawler". This allows space for a thirty-five minute documentary starting with Christian Scott's return to Berklee School of Music to rehearse for the Newport event, continuing with his comments on the close relationship between his uncle (Donald Harrison) and Miles Davis and what he has learned from this and concluding with his comments on the footage of the Newport performance. The picture and sound quality (Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound) is excellent – much better than in the online clips (see below).

All in all, this release is a clear candidate for jazz album of the year. It continues the trajectory of "Rewind This" and "Anthem" and leaves little doubt that one of the key voices in jazz of the coming decades is securely in place.

Read our review of "Anthem"

Free MP3 download of "Died In Love"

Clips from the "Live At Newport" DVD:

Christian Scott | Isadora (Live At Newport 8.9.2008) from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

Christian Scott | Died In Love (Live At Newport 8.9.2008) from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.

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Christian Scott - Christian Scott - Live At Newport

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