Christian Scott: A Warm Wind Blowing

My sound gets so much attention about it sounding like the human voice but there are so many layers to it. I play especially piercing at times and high and very cutting as well. It's my way of screaming about the things that I don't like happening today.

-Christian Scott


My Art is Valid

Christian Scott feels that his art is valid because he is valid. He grew up with a strong sense of self, a direction, and a feeling that what he was doing was right.

Christian Scott
"I think for a young black man, especially, it's very, very, very important that they certify themselves, dig deep and read about their history so that they know who they are. We live in a society that more or less is only inviting and accepting of a certain black male stereotype - a type that typically has a lot of money and has done things that could prove to be negative in the context of how people perceive us," explains Scott. "We, as black men, have a deeper history than that stereotype and I think it's important to note that."

His passion bubbles over when we talks about music – all music, not just jazz.

"Soulive are the funkiest dudes I've ever played with and it's going to stay like that. 50 Cent, I love his new tracks. I like the way he flows, and he's a nice rapper, but all the, 'I'm hard, I'm hard, I'm hard' shit, enough [already]. I think it's particularly interesting that a guy like Kanye West - who wasn't a drug dealer, wasn't a pusher, wasn't professing to be this hard, edgy black man - is one of the only one's saying anything meaningful. So, 50, I like what you do but I'm sick of hearing about you being hard. There's nothing so hard as standing up to the fucking government, and if you don't do that something's wrong. The Roots do something a little different. The thing about The Roots is it's hard to separate what they're doing artistically from just the great music. The music, you can't beat it. It's the music for this generation. These dudes have been locking it down for that long because they are the best hip-hop band in the world."

Scott embraces multiple genres and cultures as a jazz ambassador to the world. "I love hanging out with certain MCs because they're like jazz musicians to me," offers Scott. "The same holds true for many other artists from indie rockers to 19th century classical musicians, although, it's hard to collaborate with them because they're dead. I love hanging, networking and playing with other musicians because I think that what they have to say is just as validating as any jazz musician. One of the main things that I'm trying to do with my music is to mix as many of those things together as possible. It's not something that we intellectualize, it just sort of happens that way."

When Christian steps away from the trumpet and music he loves to play basketball and read scripts. His brother Kiel Scott is a graduate film student at NYU, studying to be a director. "If I could pick any human being to be president, I would pick my brother Kiel," enthuses Scott. "I know that's kind of strange because no one knows who Kiel is. I would pick him because he is probably the most compassionate, considerate person that I've ever met. He thinks everything through and has the type of character that's very authoritative. When he says something people respect what he is saying. So, I would either pick my brother Kiel or Doctor Cornell West. Maybe I'd pick Doctor West first and then I'll have my brother be vice president."

And how would Christian Scott have handled the Katrina situation differently if he were in charge?

"I think the biggest problem is that the government was afraid to be honest about not having the resources to do what was needed. So, hundreds of people died. We were afraid that other countries would think we were weak. The first thing I would have done would have been to ask for help," offers Scott.

Jazz has seen its share of great trumpeters but Scott is not simply following in their footsteps. He is making some massive tracks of his own as one of the Crescent City's new breed of horn blowers. Like Scott says, his art is valid because he is valid.

JamBase | Birdland
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[Published on: 11/7/07]

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johnnygoff starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/7/2007 09:22PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


his music. his background. his very unique sound. great crossover piece for and more 'mainstream' artists have to be noticing) and even saying soulive were 'the funkiest dudes' he ever played with..., yeah. great artist and great read jk.

COLOSKIER Thu 11/8/2007 11:07AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

this guy is great, i saw him live over the summer, people should definately go see him live. My jazzer friend said christian scott is just trying to be the next miles, could it be true?

toestothenose Thu 11/8/2007 12:53PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Much thanks for the feedback all -

Coloskier - Christian is clear in saying that he really admires Miles Davis, but he also expresses his passion about being your own artist and making your own sound. You've seen CS live so you probobly have a good idea if CS sounds like Miles Davis.

My thought is that if your friend feels CS is trying to be a revolutionary artist similar to how Miles was revolutionary, then I'd agree w/ them, but if they feel CS is trying to emulate a sound like Miles Davis then I'd have them spin Anthem again.

COLOSKIER starstarstarstar Thu 11/8/2007 05:25PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ya I think he was trying to point out that CS is trying to be revolutionary with his music, which i also agree, not a "technical imitator" simply attempting to sound like miles. sweet article!

cdrumz Mon 1/28/2008 11:09AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

this is a great article-useful-one thing though-its this sick cat named thomas pridgen who plays for christian scott...marcus gilmore was on the anthem recording though-thomas is on live drums and rewind that