eMusic Review 0
Three records into his career, and every disc Christian Scott makes is better than the last one. The improvements on Live At Newport are fundamental: The ensemble is at once more cohesive and elastic, the solos more consistently inventive and the slow-motion intensity that has become Scott's trademark is invested with more emotion without any loss of control.
Unlike most concert recordings, most of these songs are new, and are, without exception, riveting. "Died In Love" is Scott's eulogy for a fallen friend who was newly wed. The intimacy of the trumpeter's warm, distinctive tone slowly chars into an anguished lament, long notes curling like parchment in a fire. "Isadora" is perhaps Scott's best pure ballad to date, with a wet, breathy quality reminiscent of Freddie Hubbard. "Rumor" is an extravagant 14-minute workout that showcases dynamic solos from Scott, pianist Aaron Parks and, especially, guitarist Matt Stevens, who goes from quoting the theme to Spirit's "Fresh Garbage" to churning up gravel with his gritty, burrowing, rock licks. The final new track, "James Crow Jr., Esq." contains an anthemic, distant-fireworks splendor akin to U2, the front-line instruments piling up the riffs and harmonies while the drummer pummels away.
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