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Christian Scott: Rewind That

Christian Scott’s debut album, Rewind That, shows him to be a striking trumpeter–the breathy tone he often uses, so tenuous it can resemble a flute, stands out in an ensemble, and he shows a natural knack for phrasing, whether playing quietly or brassily. His compositions, which make up nine of the album’s 11 tracks, get their drive from roiling lines by guitarist Matt Stevens, their rhythmic structure from funk and soul as much as jazz, and their atmosphere from Scott’s own brooding. Sometimes Scott makes something roiling and surprising with these materials, as on the title track and “Say It.” Sometimes they lead him into lyrical reminiscences with titles like “She.”

At times, Scott’s compositions blend into each other, due to the heavy use of the minor mode, the narrow range of tempi and a certain reticence that damps down a few tracks. No such problems beset “Paradise Found,” a tune by Scott’s uncle, altoist Donald Harrison Jr., that inspires easy, lyrical, instantly appealing playing from Scott, or “Suicide,” where he rips hard at his own musical fabric with arresting results. Songs like that make you eager to fast-forward to the next album to see how Scott develops.

Originally Published