Thursday, August 16, 2012

CHRISTIAN A TUNDE ADJUAH STRETCHED JAZZ TO THE MAX ON HIS NEW ALBUM


Corey is a professional barber and my friend. He’s a big music buff and a devout Christian Scott follower.  Corey sent me a text message last week me raving about Scott’s new album. I told Corey I'd buy a copy, and share  with him my thoughts about the album.

Dear Corey,
The past two days I’ve listened to Christian A Tunde Adjuah’s (formerly Christian Scott) self-titled album that you urged me to buy, and that I’m grateful you did. Honestly,  I started to lose faith in Christian after he made Rewind That, and Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. The former was too commercial for my tastes, and the latter was unfocused. Besides, I figured Christian had deserted his jazz roots.

I heard Christian for the first time when he was 17-year-old. He was the star attraction in alto sax player Donald Harrison’s band. I caught Harrison’s set at the 2001 Detroit Jazz Festival, and Christian knocked  me out. Clearly, he had spent much time picking apart Lee Morgan’s style although these days Christian sounds exactly like Miles Davis. 

I became a fan of Christian, but as he evolved my feelings toward him changed. The only album he made that I enjoyed was Ninety Miles. He co-led it with Stefon Harris, and David Sanchez. Remember, I begged you to buy Ninety Miles.  

After I listened to you  go on and on about Christian A Tunde Adjuah, I decided to buy it. You’re right part of it called to mind Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Tutu. Davis' finger prints are all over the album. The first time I played Christian A Tunde Adjuah I was hooked.  

Would I recommend it? Yes, because Christian took chances that panned out, and he deserves credit. Do I consider Christian A Tunde Adjuah a jazz album? Yes. It's jazz stretched to the max. Plus, it's listenable and thought-provoking . And Christian’s most focused and daring album yet. He’s a serious musician. 

For A Tunde Adjuah, Christian wrote 22 new songs. That's a lot of music for a human being to digest, but it held my interest throughout. Christian didn’t design the album to showcase his sidemen, or to show what an exceptional composer he’s become. Clearly, he went into this project with a carefully wrought plan and he executed it beautifully. Corey, I finally realize Christian will spend his entire career experimenting, or better yet stretching jazz as far as he can. .

Best,
Charles
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