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Review: Music

Christian Scott

Christian Scott

Queen's Hall

Rob Adams

We may well have seen the future of jazz at Edinburgh Jazz Festival 2014's closing concert. Trumpeter Christian Scott has gathered around him a group of young musicians - some bandleaders themselves in their early twenties and one, flautist Elena Pinderhughes, just 19 - who show prodigious awareness of the jazz tradition and an ability to apply it through improvisation and meticulous attention to arrangements.

There may be some debate as to just how much the band brings to the idiom that constitutes new ideas and the introduction of Scott's spouse, Isadora, to sing Emily King's Georgia may not have added greatly to the experience, but this was an invigorating, startlingly accomplished performance nonetheless.

Pinderhughes has only been with the band for a week, apparently, but she displayed amazing resourcefulness and strength of musical character when pitted against formidable drummer Corey Fonville, whose twin-snare efforts were bolstered by Scott and alto saxophonist Braxton Cook as supplementary percussionists, and her playing with Scott and Cook in the frontline produced expressive, tightly executed melodies that sounded as if flute, trumpet and saxophone were three elements of one voice.

Scott himself is all superbly channelled energy, boldly articulating forthright statements with clarity and a richly honed tone. His choice of blues, Blue Monk, might have seemed a little tame for a sextet that appeared capable of creating something a bit more "from the streets" but it emphasised everyone's fluency in the language and exuded a certain charm. South African Feya Faku's opening set impressed also, being a swift collaboration between the trumpeter, his effervescent pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and New Zealand's clearly adaptable The Troubles.

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