Q&A: Christian Scott (Originally published in Village Voice)
Harlem by way of New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott has emerged as a great force in jazz, as well as its most frank provocateur of truth since Rashaan Roland Kirk. His wildly incendiary testimonials of political frustrations (“Jenacide (The Inevitable Rise and Fall of the Blood Revolution)”), personal encounters with corrupt government institutions (“K.K.P.D. aka Ku Klux Police Department”) and intense social commentary (“When Marissa Stood Her Ground”) are equally as striking as his statements of his “stretch music” ideal of fusion, melded a perplexing combination of influences and turning it into an intoxicating presentation of reverb heavy rhythms and arresting melodies.
Scott’s eighth album—the double-CD set Christian aTunde Adjuah, commemorating his new name—displays “stretch music” at its most realized. It’s full of ferocious statements of dissatisfaction and admiration for his family and New Orleans heritage. Although only 29, he’s ready to partake in a daunting challenge: bringing jazz back to black youth and dissolving age-old (and, until now, unchallenged) rules of what jazz is and who jazz is for.
Christian on completing his name to Christian aTunde Adjuah:
“For me, I didn’t wanna be exclusively known as a name that was assigned to my ancestors so their captors could know that they owned them at one point. Fuck that.”
Christian on his long, politically-charged song-titles:
“I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t get flack for my titles. Even within the confines of the daily conversations you have with business people or people on your team; the label, agents or publicists, any of those things. It’s not a very comfortable job for someone to have to navigate selling someone any album that the first song is called “Ku Klux Police Department.” You know how hard that is for a business person? At the end of the day, I’m not budging; that’s what the song is called. If you don’t want the song to be called that, then stop these motherfuckers from pulling guns on people like me.”
Christian’s definition of his style, “stretch music:
“…it is a seamless improvisational fusion form that can literally acculturate any musical vernacular that has ever existed.”
Read the full interview at the Village Voice blog site: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2012/08/christian_scott_interview.php