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CD Review | JAZZ

Christian Scott, ‘Christian aTunde Adjuah’

Christian Scott is now Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, and the African elements that complete his name also give the title to this bold, sprawling double album — a statement record, and not just about identity. Trumpeter Scott and his quintet simmer and stretch their way through vast emotional terrain: Some songs are cries of outrage, inspired by police brutality, human trafficking, a massacre in Sudan; there are romances too, family tributes, and elegies. A limber, contained funk characterizes the group, with guitarist Matthew Stevens and drummer Jamire Williams in key roles, but the themes and compositions leave no doubt this is Scott’s album. Woven in tightly, though never in obvious ways, is New Orleans: its rhythms, its history, the Katrina trauma, the recovery. Scott descends from Big Chiefs in the Mardi Gras Indian tradition; he dons regalia on the cover, underscoring the album’s ritual purpose — not as liturgy, but as connection to ancestry and emotional gateway. (Out Tuesday)

ESSENTIAL “Danziger”
Christian Scott performs at Scullers Jazz Club on Aug. 10.

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