Christian Scott is the trumpeter expanding jazz music at the frontier, working the great African-American genre into something more reflective of international, improvised music: African drums, Indian Raga, Caribbean grooves … all this is present in the form he has dubbed “stretch music.” Another emphasis of his sound is to expose the rich melodic content within rhythms. While Western music is often thought of as melody-driven, the music stemming from Africa has its own claim on melody that is embedded within transcendent rhythms. If ever there was an ambassador for this musical venture it is Chief Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (he was made a chief of the Afro New-Orlenian tribes, known as the Black Indians): knowledgeable, charismatic and full of life, he is a musician on a tireless journey of expansion.
Here, at the beautiful Jazz a Vienne venue in France, he put on a 2017 show where he played tracks from the trio of albums he released that year: Ruler Rebel, Diaspora and The Emancipation Procrastination. He is joined by a borderless cast of musicians, some his regular accomplices, like the Ghanain percussionist Weedie Braimah and the American pianist Lawrence Fields. Bassist Max Moran and percussionist Mike Mitchell sure-up the rhythm section while Flautist Elena Pinderhughes and, of course, Scott himself take multicultural flights of wonder at the front of the stage.