New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott's 2010 album Yesterday You Said Tomorrow received acclaim for its balance of early-jazz brass power and contemporary urban sounds, and for the unflinching social and political agenda he managed to raise without hectoring. The double album Christian aTunde Adjuah broadens the themes further: to his family's African ancestry, contemporary inequality and racism, globalisation and war. It isn't a lecture, but a courageous and ambitious experiment. The proclamatory purity of Scott's trumpet sound could carry much of the set's message on its own, but guitarist Matthew Stevens' raw chords and churning vamps make effective contrasts with the leader's silvery double-time passages. Wistful laments such as the ballad Kiel reflect Scott's admiration for Miles Davis's early muted sound; the Hurricane Katrina-inspired Danziger has an expectant air; and the racing Jihad Joe combines a rocking guitar hook, scalding drumming and dazzling trumpet improv. This double album takes its time, and it's mostly all about Scott's trumpet, but it's a tour de force just the same.
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