Album Review: Christian a Tunde Adjuah by Christian Scott
Great, Based on 4 Critics
The Guardian - 80 Based on rating 4/5
New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott's 2010 album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow received acclaim for its balance of early-jazz brass power and contemporary urban sounds, and for the unflinching social and political agenda he managed to raise without hectoring. The double album Christian aTunde Adjuah broadens the themes further: to his family's African ancestry, contemporary inequality and racism, globalisation and war. It isn't a lecture, but a courageous and ambitious experiment.
New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott has always examined various historic musical traditions for their wealth of knowledge and culture. He's also deeply well-read, putting forth an inquiry which addresses the future from global and socio-political codes of past and present -- without hectoring. 2010's Yesterday You Said Tomorrow was a successful integration of what Scott calls "stretch music," which thoroughly understands and respects what came before it in jazz and doesn't attempt to replace it, but instead tries to embrace within its rhythmic and harmonic architectures as many musical forms and cultural languages as possible.
Despite being one of the few modern, young jazz musicians to reach a certain level of popularity that eludes most current jazzmen, Christian Scott appears to feel attacked much of the time. The liner notes of the album contain a three-page essay on his ruminations concerning his elders in New Orleans bemoaning his music’s lack of bebop and swing rhythms, while the press release claims “Pyrrhic Victory of aTunde Adjuah” is a track expressing Scott’s disappointment over the negative energy he’s received since “completing [his] name”. But through the frustration he’s felt in the two years since Yesterday You Said Tomorrow was released to near-universal critical acclaim (including from this writer) Scott’s also managed to siphon that emotion into a sort of mental breakthrough, thoroughly embracing his New Orleans Black Indian heritage (Tremé, anyone?) via the album art, his name and the subjects of some of the tracks here (“Spy Boy / Flag Boy”, “The Red Rooster”).
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