Edison Award winning trumpeter-composer-producer-bandleader Christian Scott stands tall among a handful of talented young jazz artists who are expanding their artistic vision beyond the strict confines of the genre's tradition. Throughout his career, Scott has been an intrepid explorer, from his Grammy nominated debut Rewind That to his genre stretching last album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Scott ups the ante on his compelling new double album, Christian aTunde Adjuah, an inspired and provocative two-CD, 23-track collection that spans a range of beyond-jazz influences as he continues to make strides into uncharted jazz territory.
With Scott's trumpet at the heart of most of the tunes, the album features reflective ballads, light and dreamy soundscapes, guitar-edged and rock-inflected cookers, trumpet ecstasies as well as clarion calls and anguished wails. Scott's band consists of guitarist Matthew Stevens, drummer Jamire Williams, bassist Kristopher Keith Funn and pianist Lawrence Fields (Fields' piano sound is often spiced for effect by using paper on the instrument's strings), with guests including tenor saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III, alto saxophonist Louis Fouche IIII and trombonist Corey King.
In the liner notes to Christian aTunde Adjuah, addressed as a "Letter to a Future Artist," the New Orleans-born, Harlem-based Scott writes, "As an artist, I am always attempting to do things that haven't been done. This goes beyond simply trying to be adept at something. It requires the ability to revisit past thought processes while considering new landscapes…" In conversation, he adds, "It's all about the willingness to forge new paths and seek new terrain while excavating one's own past as a means of gaining a better contextual understanding of that path."
Scott describes what he plays on Christian aTunde Adjuah as "stretch music," much like he introduced on his 2010 album, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. In his liners, he writes about people calling his approach "stretch," and notes, "It's true that we are attempting to stretch—not replace—jazz's rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions to encompass as many musical forms/languages/cultures as we can. My core belief is that no form of expression is more valid than any other. This belief has compelled me to attempt to create a sound that is genre blind in its acculturation of other musical forms, languages, textures, conventions and processes."