Christian Scott: Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (Concord)

 |   |  1 min read

Christian Scott: American't
Christian Scott: Yesterday You Said Tomorrow (Concord)

From the opening bars - a slightly discordant guitar and unsettling drums and knocks -- this album announces itself as something delivering the unexpected by a young jazz trumpeter out of New Orleans.

Scott, 27, and his smart young band here probe the edges of the avant-garde and free playing but always remain thoroughly grounded in the long tradition that reaches from Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis of the Eighties, with references (in guitarist Matthew Stevens' tonal sheens) to edgy ECM styles.

Among their originals they also offer a fascinating treatment of Thom Yorke's Eraser which shows you just how open-eared they are. There are two beautiful ballads here: Isadora on which Scott plays his specially designed trumpet with spare and languid beauty and the late night meditation of The Last Broken Heart (prompted by Scott's thoughts on gay marriage).

But it is the more astringent material which really impresses: that edgy opener KKPD (Ku Klux Police Department); the slightly melancholy and off-balance Angola, LA and the 13th Amendment (about the LA prison and slavery, with a disconcerting undercurrent from the rhythm section); the tonal and textural lyricism of American't; An Unending Repentance which also has some angular guitar and discordant qualities behind the soft trumpet . . .

The final piece The Roe Effect -- which has seen Scott have to bat around whether he is for or against abortion -- is a lovely and lonely piece of barely stated trumpet underscored by brittle guitar chords. 

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Blue Note legend Rudy Van Gelder, this album has the sonic presence of some of the classic Sixties albums and Scott is on record saying he was inspired by albums like Dylan's Blonde on Blonde as much as politically engaged material by Coltrane and others.

Scott is one of the most interesting and innovative musicians of his post-Wynton generation and this excellent album should secure his place as a leader in jazz which is not only different, interesting and emotionally engaging but music with depth which invites political and social discussion. That makes him a very rare musician -- jazz or otherwise -- indeed.

Elsewhere also has an interview with Christian Scott

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Mathias Eick: The Door (ECM/Ode)

Mathias Eick: The Door (ECM/Ode)

On a blindfold test I doubt many who listen to Norwegian prog-rockers Jaga Jazzist would pick the trumpter leading this ECM set as the same guy from that big band. But Eick has popped up in many... > Read more

MEREDITH MONK PROFILED (2013): Art for art's sake

MEREDITH MONK PROFILED (2013): Art for art's sake

New Yorker Meredith Monk (born 1942) has created a world of her own between the vocal art-music of Laurie Anderson, contemporary dance and cutting edge film, avant-theatre and that place Bjork... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY by RON RASH

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY by RON RASH

Being praised by, among many others, Daniel Woodrell – the author of the bleak Winter's Bone which was made into a suitably monochromatic and emotionally grim feature film – is... > Read more

THE SIXTIES by JENNY DISKI: What a long strange trip . . .

THE SIXTIES by JENNY DISKI: What a long strange trip . . .

Has any decade been more feted, essayed and mythologised than the Sixties? The flowers in hippies’ headbands had barely wilted when the analysis began, and since then many of those who were... > Read more