Christian Scott – Anthem February 2, 2008
One of the nice things about living in a timezone nine hours away from France is that I can listen to shows on the French radio that are not mainstream and usually more interesting – and with less commercials, as well. One of those shows is L’Heure du Jazz on RTL every Sunday at 11pm (French time), which has live jazz performances every week. This is how I discovered Christian Scott last year, and after listening to his performance, I immediately bought his CD, Anthem.
It took me six months to get to listen to the CD carefully, and for that, I’m glad I started this blog. I sometimes buy CDs and forget that I even did, which would have been a shame in this case.
Christian Scott is a jazz musician from New Orleans and he plays the trumpet. His second album, Anthem, is not “classical” jazz, but more modern, mixed with some rock-ish sides, such as saturated electric guitars and rock rhythms.
The album opens with Litany Against Fear, which is really excellent, and deserves to be listened to just for the drums and the trumpet. The next song, Void, is a very nice quiet piece, which contrasts with the energy of the first track.
Anthem (Antediluvian Adaptation) follows, which contains an awesome piano part, emphasized by saturated guitars. It is a reference to hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in August 2005.
Re: has a nice heavy bass line and trumpet, but it feels too short, with it’s quick fade out after only 2:14. It is followed by Cease fire, which is a little repetitive to my taste, and Dialect, which has heavy guitars and piano sounds, but isn’t to the level of the first three songs of the album in my opinion, and feels a little repetitive again.
The Uprising and Katrina’s Eyes that follow are two great, very calm tracks, and so is Like That which is a jazzy ballad.
The album closes with Anthem (Postdiluvian Adaptation), which echoes Anthem (Antediluvian Adaptation). This is the only track with lyrics, sang by Brother J of the X Clan. This song is a nice mix of jazz, rock and and hip-hop, which embodies the anger around the Katrina catastrophe and the way it was dealt with by the Bush administration (
Was it genocide by drowning or homicide by clowning with time?).
This is a great album of modern jazz, mixing jazz instruments with rock effects and a touch of hip-hop. The middle of the album (tracks 4-6) are a little weaker than the rest, but it’s overall a very interesting album to listen to.
Listen to: Litany Against Fear
Listen to: Anthem (Postdiluvian Adaptation)