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Christian Scott: Great Scott

Bold, brash and already delivering on serious promise, Christian Scott embodies New Orleans’ illustrious trumpet tradition while struggling against it

Christian Scott

Christian Scott was early for dinner in downtown Manhattan, killing time at the bar with a lemonade. In his hands was a copy of DownBeat; his image was on the cover. “I was just looking at this,” he said, casually brandishing the magazine when I showed up. His tone conveyed neither abashment nor self-conceit. He was drawing attention to a fact.

Sporting a plaid dress shirt, untucked but crisp, under a light-wool cardigan, Scott gave off the air of a young man who carefully monitors his surroundings—and just as carefully gauges the weight of his presence. He was feeling a bit under the weather, he cautioned, perhaps as a result of the breakneck European tour from which he had just returned. Encroaching illness aside, he was feeling good: The tour, timed to usher in the release of his new Concord album, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, had been a knockout.

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Originally Published
Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen is the director of editorial content for WBGO and a longtime contributor to JazzTimes, which published 125 installments of his column “The Gig” between 2004 and 2017. For 12 years, he was a critic for The New York Times; prior to that, he wrote about jazz for the Village Voice, the Philadelphia City Paper, and several other publications. He is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century (2018) and the co-author of George Wein’s autobiography Myself Among Others: A Life in Music (2003).