CHRISTIAN SCOTT ATUNDE ADJUAH
“All forms of expression in sound are valid, as all people are… this is the mantra of Ancestral Recall.”
Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah sets the tone for his new project - Ancestral Recall - with this powerful statement. In his mission to unify cultural voices and tear down the sonic and social constructs that separate based on race, class, and culture, Adjuah asserts music has historically been disseminated to people with harmony and melody prioritized over rhythm. The value distinction leads to harmful hierarchal sentiments and perpetuates the view that cultures who prioritize harmony and melody are more nuanced and sophisticated than those who prioritize rhythm. It is an inaccurate portrayal.
Ancestral Recall looks to excavate and update hidden histories in sound by displaying a sonic tapestry that illuminates the har-melodic movements found within rhythm, rendering previous contexts baseless, Adjuah explains: "In its inception, Ancestral Recall was built as a map to de-colonialize sound; to challenge previously held misconceptions about some cultures of music; to codify a new folkloric tradition and begin the work of creating a national set of rhythms; rhythms rooted in the synergy between West African, First Nation, African Diaspora/Caribbean rhythms and their marriage to rhythmic templates found in trap music, alt-rock, and other modern forms. It is time we created a sound that dispels singular narratives of entire peoples and looks to finally represent the wealth of narratives found throughout the American experience. One that shows that all forms of expression in sound are valid, as all people are." The goal is to connect people in one understanding rather than dividing them by definition.
The music of Ancestral Recall focuses the mind. As the ear adjusts to the shifting tapestries of rhythm, Adjuah stands firm in the mix, heralding the histories of rhythm and song. Walking hand-in-hand with listeners through his and their musical histories, clearing the way for a new reading of what all musical futures can become. Ancestral Recall is an album that might easily be misunderstood in its own time, but will certainly be seen as a moment in history that marked a momentous shift in musical and perhaps social understanding.
Beginning 100 years after the first jazz recording, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah announced The Centennial Trilogy : three full length albums that reflect deeply on the history of Jazz. In his words, Christian was ‘trying to create a document that fully acculturated all of the things that grew from the first century of jazz…. To force all of those things into one context as a means of creating a newer, larger context for artists to be able to grow from’
The scope of the trilogy is not limited to the music; Christian is using broad strokes to present his vision of the world. Growing up in the upper ninth ward he witnessed people enduring the same challenges regardless of their race or ethic background. Undereducated to serve the tourist culture, facing food insecurity and viewing each other as different because of the lens of race. He understood that race was and is a social construct, and saw that people could be working together to build and move forward.
Christian’s use of the term Stretch Music, which is an album title as well as the name of his newly formed record label, goes well beyond the music. It springs from his childhood realization that music can be a tool to obliterate this notion – that by creating music that blends genres he can inspire people to blend in every way. If one visualizes musicians of different genres, it is easy to see how music has been disseminated to us as hyper racialized, a by product of cultural expression. The goal of the artist is, in every way and every calculated move, driven by this understanding and a desire to create a space that advances the notion that we all belong together. It is never I, it is always WE.
Ruler Rebel presented to us the artist – WHO we are listening to.
Diaspora identified the listener – ALL the people of the world.
The Emancipation Procrastination, the third and final chapter in the trilogy, deals directly with the social and political issues of the day. Rather than descend into identity politics, Adjuah sees in New Orleans many disparate cultures in one space being underserved and exploited. His worldview is not just New Orleans, as he has traveled and toured the world for almost 20 years, starting as a child in some of the most revered jazz groups of the day (McCoy Tyner, Donald Harrison, Eddie Palmieri..).
“‘I’m not interested in harming anyone. I have a responsibility as an artist to create a space where people feel welcome. When I walk outside this hotel room, that is not the reality. There is a difference when music is made with love. When people come into my space they are going to feel that. We are trying to figure out a way to treat each other better. We are all responsible for healing each other.‘”
The vision of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is clear – that this is an opportunity for all of US to come together and address issues that affect ALL of us. Emancipation Procrastination means that we all have an opportunity to liberate ourselves from old world ideas. Let the healing begin.
The emancipation procrastination
Release Date: september 18 2015
In June 2015, Christian established a partnership between his newly formed Stretch Music label and the lauded Ropeadope Music family. In the Fall of 2015, Christian’s debut album, Stretch Music, was released.
Featuring Elena Pinderhughes, Braxton Cook, Corey King, Cliff Hines, Lawrence Fields, Kris Funn, Corey Fonville, Joe Dyson Jr., Matthew Stevens & Warren Wolf
about Christian Scott
Christian Scott, also known as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (born March 31, 1983, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a two-time Edison Award winning (2010 and 2012) and Grammy Award nominated trumpeter, composer, producer and music executive. Christian’s Grammy nominated international recording debut, Rewind That was called “arguably the most remarkable premiere the genre has seen in the last decade” by Billboard Magazine, earning Christian two prominent features on their cover and inclusion in their list of “Ones to Watch in 2006.”
Christian is the nephew of jazz innovator and legendary sax man, Donald Harrison, Jr. He began his musical tutelage under the direction of his uncle at the age of thirteen. After graduating from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in 2001, Christian received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, where he earned a degree thirty months later.
Since 2002 Christian has released seven critically acclaimed studio recordings and two live albums. According to NPR, "Christian Scott ushers in new era of jazz". He has been heralded by JazzTimes magazine as "the Architect of a new commercially viable fusion" and "Jazz's young style God." Christian is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the “forecasting cell” and for his use of an un-voiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece, widely referred to as his “whisper technique.” Christian is also widely recognized as one of the progenitors of “Stretch Music,” a jazz rooted, genre blind musical form that attempts to “stretch” jazz’s rhythmic, melodic and harmonic conventions to encompass as many other musical forms, languages and cultures as possible.