An intrepid explorer, Scott ups the ante on his new double album Christian aTunde Adjuah, continuing to delve into uncharted jazz territory. Scott s band consists of guitarist Matthew Stevens, drummer Jamire Williams, bassist Kris Funn and pianist Lawrence Fields (whose piano sound is often spiced for effect by using paper on the instrument s strings). Scott also recruited guests tenor saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III, alto saxophonist Louis Fouche IIII, and trombonist Corey King.
Christian aTunde Adjuah is arguably the most personal project to date for the young artist, reflected in the album title, Christian aTunde Adjuah-- the artist s new name, and the album cover -- a photo of the Scott in the traditional attire of his culture the Black Indians of New Orleans.
Scott says, The album cover is a self-portrait, a two-tiered depiction of me in the ceremonial regalia of the Afro-Native American Culture of New Orleans-- colloquially known as Black Indians or Mardi Gras Indians. The photo represents the same general idea that the record does. It's about the willingness to forge new paths and to seek new terrain while excavating one s own past as a means of gaining a better contextual understanding of that path. Scott explains, "The cover. The album. Everything represents the completion of my name. I am Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. The addition of the names aTunde and Adjuah comes from two cities in the West African nation of Benin, which is present day Ghana. It s just a way for me to tell the world that I accept all of my past and am willing to explore it. So in a sense, I haven't changed my name. I ve completed it to reflect another part of my ancestry and lineage-- the part before Scott.
A tour de force masterwork, Christian aTunde Adjuah opens a wide window on Scott s present as well as his past (especially in reaction to the jazz trads complaining about his breaking free from the jazz standard) and his auspicious creative future. In his liners, Scott writes that the listener will hear on the album a stretching of jazz, not a replacement. That is what I hope younger people will be able to take away from it as well the idea that innovation should never be regarded as a problem in artistic practice, that one should always be aware of what has come before, and finally, that criticisms shouldn t evoke paralysis, [but] should inspire action.