Editors' pick

Christian Scott

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Editorial Review

Album Review: "Yesterday You Said Tomorrow"

New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott turns 27 this month, but his upcoming release shows what an old soul he is. Recorded at engineer Rudy Van Gelder's New Jersey studio, an incubator for countless classic jazz recordings, "Yesterday You Said Tomorrow" finds Scott channeling key influences from start to finish. As he says in the album's liner notes, this collection of mostly self-penned pieces "was designed in subject matter and sound to have the brevity and character of the recordings of the '60s," inspired by the likes of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.

No small task, of course, but Scott has sufficient passion, soul, wit and technique to pull it off without sounding retro or reverential. The themes inspired by sociopolitical issues, beginning with his opening broadside, "K.K.P.D.," crackle with fusion-era electricity. "Isadora," a muted, brush-stroked ballad, eloquently underscores Scott's affection for Davis's spacious lyricism. A cover of rocker Thom Yorke's "The Eraser" employs a pulsating modal arrangement to hypnotic effect, and Scott's "An Unending Repentance" is enhanced by guitarist Matthew Stevens's fluid lines and blues sensibility.

Scott has also surrounded himself with gifted musicians, including pianist Milton Fletcher Jr., who help the trumpeter achieve his goals with plenty of finesse and invention.

-- Mike Joyce, Weekend (March 2010