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New Boundaries in Jazz

No procrastination on the part of Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah who released his third album of the year, The Emancipation Procrastination on October 19th. The third instillation of Scott’s Centennial Trilogy follows Ruler Rebel and Diaspora, concluding the project with a bang. Christian Scott is doing something big for jazz and music in general. By combining a traditional jazz approach with electronics and other modern musical elements Scott is trying to engage a younger audience with a nearly forgotten art form. Overall The Emancipation Procrastination is as explorative as it is good. With the completion of his trilogy in under a year Scott continues to build upon his resume as one of the biggest names in modern jazz music.

Electronics have been showing up all across the musical spectrum even in jazz music. Use of electronic instruments and tracks made mostly on a computer are littered throughout The Emancipation Procrastination. This inclusion of new musical trends into jazz has made for a unique and more engaging listen, at least as far as “young” people are concerned. Instead of recoiling from modern pop music trends Scott embraces them, making them his own. Several tracks will sound familiar and welcoming to fans of hip-hop, with instrumental solos in place of lyrical verses over top of original rap/trap type beats. In addition, Scott does not shy away from using the studio as an instrument and voice of its own. Layers of simultaneous trumpet harmonies, reverb, and other effects add to the depth of the sound of the album’s wind instruments. Dynamic contrast plays an integral part of The Emancipation Procrastination with beautiful ballad type songs like Videotape to the fiery explosive ending track New Heroes. This album is moving and pushes Scott ever closer to the pinnacle of jazz artistry. Christian Scott is a true inspiration as a trumpet player, and his role in modernizing jazz should not be overlooked.

The Emancipation Procrastination is a solid release from Christian Scott. The continued quality of releases over the last year show Scott’s caliber as a musician. I do not have any complaints about this album. I thought that the tracks had more variety and a better overall flow than the previous two releases of the trilogy because Emancipation Procrastination combines elements from both. As a trumpet player I truly respect what Christian Scott does for the instrument. He is a modern role model and has a unique sound and taste in fashion. This release gets 4.5 stars out of 5. It is a great album, but falls short of five stars because although I listen to it often, it is not a regular binge. It is an impressive feat to release as many albums of quality in less than a year. Bravo Christian Scott.

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