Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., March 21, 2008
Christian ScottMomo's, Friday, March 14
At a Music Festival overwhelmingly sated by rock & roll, trumpeter Christian Scott showed there's still plenty of room for jazz, especially the type that struts the diamond-hard, rock 'n' funk grooves derived from the late-1980s, Brooklyn-born M-Base sound. The New Orleans native tuned up for his Auditorium Shores gig the following afternoon with a far more intimate showcase that demonstrated Scott's vision and versatility. Opening his five-tune set with the edgy "Litany Against Fear" from current release Anthem, Scott wasn't merely rehashing a straight-ahead, post-bop formula. The heavy rhythms of drummer Eric Doob and electric jazz flourishes of guitarist Matt Stevens created a tension over which Scott's assertive playing thrives. The album's centerpiece ballad, "Katrina's Eyes," featured Scott's softer, breathy style, unusual for a trumpeter, and a sound more often associated with a saxophonist like Ben Webster. Closing with the title track from 2006's Grammy-nominated Rewind That, a scorcher in the M-Base mold, Scott, crouched for emphasis and fueled by Doob's loud, careening stick work, breathed fire and exuded the stylist confidence of a player ready for the prime time.