Picture from Amazon.com 

I grew up both playing and listening to music – all sorts of it.  I took piano lessons, I played all sorts of musical instruments, I went to band concerts.  Even through high school, I was actively involved in many different kinds of bands (of course, these were not the types of bands which would get one laid – the operative words tending to be “polka” or “marching” or “symphonic” or “wind ensemble”).  Once I graduated, I quit.  Cold turkey.  I’ve touched a piano several times since then, but I have never played anything.  All I did was listen.

As I grew older, my taste in radio became more NPR and less Britney Spears.  But I was never able to bridge the gap to jazz music.  But all that was before I listened to Anthem, the sophomore effort of jazz trumpet phenom Christian Scott.

Anthem, released by Concord Jazz, is an absolute masterpiece.  Consisting mostly of songs which Scott himself wrote, and performed on all the songs, this album is a gem of musical ability and talent.  It starts off with a skillful bang on “Litany Against Fear” and continues on in the same competent theme.  However, it’s the last five songs on the album, overflowing with expertise and excitement, which truly steal the show.  Track Eight, “The Uprising”, has a true jazz combo feel and is the most exciting of all tracks on the album.  That notwithstanding, it is Track 11, “Like That”, which was my personal favorite on this collection of new songs.  All of this builds up to the twelfth and final track on the album, “Anthem (Postdiluvian Adaptation)”, an astonishing and quality blending of jazz and hip-hop.  More than that, it is a song of loss and hope for his hometown of New Orleans.  All of this comes together to create one of the greatest jazz trumpet albums of modern time.

Christian Scott’s is a career we should all keep an eye on.

This album can be purchased on the Concord website.

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