Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, “The Reckoning” from Ruler Rebel (2017): Something Else! sneak peek

There are fortunately a lot of jazz musicians working to revitalize the idiom by pushing it into new and exciting places, and there are few of them doing that as aggressively and compellingly as Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. The talented nephew of alto sax great Donald Harrison, we’ve watched his progression as each album seemed to push harder against convention, with 2012’s Christian aTunde ADJuah widely regarded as his most ambitious statement yet.

But the New Orleans born and bred trumpeter isn’t done making grand designs. To commemorate this year’s centennial anniversary of the first known jazz recordings — at least until they locate Buddy Bolden’s missing cylinder — Adjuah is poised to deliver not one but three new albums.

The Centennial Trilogy will be a series of releases that will look forward, not back. Using music, Adjuah will offer a serious-minded survey of the current political turmoil in our world and the oppressive institutions that linger through his music. Moreover, with his ‘Stretch Music’ concept, he is using jazz not as an end in itself but rather as a jumping off point, projecting it into everything from hip hop and rock to West African and New Orleans R&B.

“The Reckoning” has just been released as a stream (above) and is the opening salvo in this latest campaign by Adjuah, from the upcoming first leg of the trilogy Ruler Rebel (now available for pre-order, expected March 31, 2017). The Trap music element comes from the booming kick drums emanating from a synth and it’s even begins to appear that Adjuah has left jazz behind completely until his soaring, clear-toned trumpet begins to assert itself. Passionate, affecting while being technically flawless, this is the part of Adjuah that’s remained steadfast through his rapid evolution from a young, newly minted Berklee grad just a dozen or so years ago to the forefront of a movement to make jazz once again a tool for social change.


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron