Christian Scott

Christian aTunde Adjuah
Concord Jazz
Christian Scott

Christian ScottIf you’ve been waiting for the future of jazz to arrive, this may well be it. The young trumpeter is creating a beguiling blend of post-bop, dark rock, and hip-hop – try to picture Miles Davis in Radiohead and you’ll be getting warmer. Better still, Christian Scott has a young, gifted band featuring guitarist Matthew Stevens, and his new two-CD set may be the one that finally pushes him over the top.

For a first taste of Scott (who also goes by the surname aTunde Adjuah), cue up “New New Orleans,” where the horn man lays out a haunting melody over Stevens’ alt-rock-infused chord arpeggios. It’s hard not to be grabbed by the song’s uncanny, angst-filled groove.

One of the album’s keynote tracks, “Danzinger,” is buried in the back of the second disc, but is getting radio airplay and is fast becoming a contemporary classic. It’s a dark, brooding ballad that wouldn’t be out of place on a Peter Gabriel album, full of a beautiful melancholia and deep soul.

There aren’t many guitar solos, but Stevens opens up on “Vs. The Kleptocratic Union” with a beguiling lead. His tone is clean and compressed yet edgy, and his phrases use clever swirls of arpeggios and fast, complex lines that are unlike much of the jazz-rock clones out there.

This is a bold album and, arguably, a breakthrough. If you love brave, heart-wrenching instrumental music, check this album out. It could be a game-changer.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’13 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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