Sep 24, 2013
Ah, autumn in New England. This coming weekend it’s time to eschew the country and leaf peeing and head into the city for the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 28, from noon to 6 p.m. on Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street in Boston’s South End. The outdoor performances are open to the public and free of charge and will include the likes of Meshell Ndegeocello; Will Calhoun Trio, which includes pianist Marc Carey; and Robin McKelle & the Flytones. More info can be found at http://www.beantownjazz.org/.
This year, the festival celebrates the theme Jazz: The Next Generation, with performances by some of the genre’s most acclaimed up-and-coming alumni artists, including Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott; Mike Tucker Trio featuring vibraphonist Warren Wolf; and the Matt Savage Quartet featuring sax great Bobby Watson.
Scott, one of the leading lights of jazz’ “stretch music” genre that integrates hip-hop, ambient sounds, electronica and straight-ahead jazz, is an inspired choice for the festival. New Orleans-raised, Berklee-educated, and now Manhattan-based, Scott releases some of the most exciting music around, and is an electrifying performer.
Podcast 379 is my conversation with Christian, as he recalls fondly his days at Berklee, his excitement at his new band, and his sessions with Prince. He also gives current Berklee students a key piece of advice – ah, but you will have to listen to hear it. Musical selections for the podcast include:
Christian Scott – “Litany against Fear” from Anthem. As the reviewer said: The track takes on the characteristics of a Sunday sermon, starting off with penetratingly introspective blue notes, rising to rebellious anger, and then ending with a moment of peaceful resolution. The percussive playing of pianist Aaron Parks, the muscular sound of drummer Marcus Gilmore, the resonant bass lines of Esperanza Spaulding, and the explosive riffs of guitarist Matt Stevens blend masterfully with Scott's brooding lyricism.
Christian Scott – “James Crow, Jr, Esq.” from Live at Newport. This 2008 release shows the excitement that a Scott performance can bring to the stage. The band is Scott on trumpet; Matthew Stevens on guitar; Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone; Aaron Parks on piano; Joe Sanders on bass; and Jamire Williams on drums.
Christian Scott – “Vs. The Kleptocratic Union (Mrs. McDowell's Crime)” from aTunde Adjuah. 2012 saw the release of this double CD of explosive music, most with a political slant or consciousness; this tune is about the problem of the homeless. The band is Scott on trumpet; Stevens on guitar; Lawrence Fields on piano; Kris Funn on bass; Williams on drums; Louis Fouche on alto saxophone; Kenneth Whalum on tenor saxophone; and Corey King on trombone.