Anthem is New Orleans-native and trumpet player Christian Scott’s musical response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath so it’s no surprise that the album is imbued with a somewhat dark, melancholy tone. The disc has several nice horn parts featuring a variety of brass and reed combinations: cornet and tenor sax, flugelhorn and straight alto sax, soprano trombone and tenor sax. Marcus Gilmore’s hard-hitting drums and Matt Stevens’s electric guitar move the dramatic music in the direction of rock, funk, hip-hop and fusion, and groups as different as U2 and the Mahavishnu Orchestra are evoked. (The production, which oddly can sound thick and thin at the same time, also pushes the album towards pop.) In a way, Anthem is framed by two versions — one instrumental and the other with vocals — of the title track. The closer, “Anthem (Post Diluvial Adaptation),” finds Brother J of the hip-hop group X-Clan letting loose a torrent of social commentary and features one of Scott’s best solos.

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