Jazzman Christian Scott flexes on ‘Stretch Music’

The title of Christian Scott’s latest, greatest album, “Stretch Music,” doubles as its thesis statement.

The 32-year-old trumpeter has purposefully widened his sound, allowing it to sprawl beyond the rigid stylistic fences he grew up inside of, back when his peers and elders expected him to pantomime Clifford Brown or a young Miles Davis.

Those days are ancient history. For Jazzman Christian Scott flexes — who sometimes stretches his name to Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah — maturity begets elasticity.

But a stretch also implies tension, whereas the finest music on this album flows and flickers with very little strain. Scott is creating something more vast, sure, but he rarely sounds like he’s in any kind of rush, or even breaking a sweat. His percussionists on the recording — Joe Dyson Jr. and Corey Fonville — keep things moving, weaving together the sounds of a traditional trap kit, various African drums and tasteful digital rhythms.

If there’s any push-and-pull to be heard on “Stretch Music,” it’s between Scott’s bright tones and flutist Elena Pinderhughes’s fluttering melodies. Here, all of that sonic-stretching creates space for us to hear some exquisite details. Even as their phrases overlap, Scott and Pinderhughes still have plenty of room to get sensitive and specific.

 

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