BIG EARS

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

A third-generation Mardi Gras Indians chieftain and the nephew of saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., the trumpeter and composer Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah carries on his noble lineage through progress, not pantomime. Before age forty, he has released a dozen studio albums and earned several Grammy nominations, leading The New York Times to report that “Scott’s career is among the most high-profile in jazz today.”

The true scope of that career began to come into focus on Stretch Music in 2015. With decolonizing jazz in mind, Scott aTunde Adjuah cracked it open to polyrhythmic drumming, hip-hop, and other strands of the Afro-Caribbean diaspora. That vision culminated in Ancestral Memories in 2019, which featured masters of the spoken word such as Saul Williams and Yasiin Bey. “The new album unifies the winning elements of Mr. Scott’s past work: the historical syncretism, the tensile band energy, the powerful physicality,” the Times said. “He plays fewer notes than most jazz trumpeters today, and his projection is more immediately majestic. He is following a path of his own, and so far, it’s still breaking new ground.”

Scott’s latest Grammy nomination was for Axiom, a live album recorded just before the pandemic at the Blue Note Jazz Club. Featuring Stretch Music and Ancestral Memories stalwarts such as flutist Elena Pinderhughes and drummer Corey Fonville, the set is alternately exuberant and pensive but always thrillingly colored and finely controlled. It shows why Pitchfork said that while Scott aTunde Adjudah’s music “is a testament to the contemporary flexibility of the jazz tradition; at times, it also constitutes a hyperspace leap out of it.”

BIG EARS
Knoxville, TN · USA

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