Opening on 'X. Adjuah: I Own the Night' with introspective piano, passages of hyperactive drumming and the woozy apocalyptic trumpet that we have come to recognise is the anthemic Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah sound, Axiom was recorded just as Lockdown was ominously coming into view at the Blue Note jazz club in New York with a band Scott watchers will be familiar with (Elena Pinderhughes, flute; Alex Han, alto saxophone; Lawrence Fields, piano, keyboards; Kris Funn, bass; Weedie Braimah, djembe, congas, percussion; Corey Fonville, drums). This is a mature probing even experimental sound a world away from the glossiness and neatnesses of some contemporary jazz. Highlights include two treatments of 'Guinnevere' the David Crosby song Miles made magic with and Scott conjures so evocatively with too and yet it is the overall feel that appeals, a signature touch wrapped around all the tracks that quite often involves a rootsy highly percussive groove side to this album (check 'Songs She Never Heard' with Elena Pinderhughes coming through strongly at the beginning). The album spreads itself out expansively, the audience playing its part at the beginning of 'Sunrise in Beijing' by signalling its appreciation. Pinderhughes takes centrestage on 'Huntress' again another highlight. Scott in the last few years has become one of the most significant new leaders of his generation and this album shows the size and scope of his imagination. It's staggering that this album was made live and again underpins just what we are all missing in this disastrous year of pandemic. I haven't enjoyed a Scott album as much since Anthem.
Out now on Ropeadope.