Breaking out of the Mold….

July 27, 2011



You ever notice that sometimes when you listen to a particular genre of music for a long period of time you start getting accustomed to the normal standards of that particular brand of music?  Things start to coalesce into one entity and nothing seems to stand out anymore. I’ve been there plenty of times before, and its always great to be unexpectedly turned on your side by an album or artist that you didn’t expect to have any effect on you at all. As a matter of fact I ran into such a record the other day. The record I’m talking about is “Yesterday You Said Tomorrow” by Christian Scott. I’ve always heard good things about the young New Orleans born trumpeter but never took the time to really check out his music. My hesitance has really been a disservice to me but you know what they say better late than never. According to the allmusic review and liner notes of the album Scott elaborates on the intent he has of his music. He talks of famous music luminaries of the 1960’s and how he wanted to make a record that stood as an homage to that turbulent time in history. While also differentiating the past from the present musically by showing the individuality and influence that growing up in his generation has afforded him. As ambitious as this sounds I think he did the best job he could at accomplishing this goal. “Y.Y.S.T.” is both modern and traditional, chaotic and turbulent at one moment and sublimely beautiful the next. Scott witnessing the destruction and mayhem of Hurricane Katrina has no doubt shaped his musical identity tremendously. It seems as though he can channel any emotion through his music and make the listener empathize with whatever he is trying to convey. To me that is the true goal of any artist and I really think Scott has a unique gift. His manipulation of dynamics and tempo are almost unparalleled and his deft  and careful handling of every nuance of his music seems as though he poured his soul into this record. He also picked a great supporting cast to back him for this record. The rest of the band seems to be intrinsically on the same wavelength . Understanding exactly what Scott wants from his music. They play more risky  and avant-guard when its called upon but they always seem to come back down to earth letting the song and groove dictate where they are headed next. They even do an absolutely beautiful cover of the Thom Yorke song “Eraser” and quite honestly I think they convey more atmosphere and delicate emotion than the Radiohead frontman ever intended for. This is an early album for Christian Scott but its a great one and I think if he’s just getting started the Jazz Public at large is in for an incredible journey




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