The Grammy-Nominated Horn Player Offers a Taste of His Forthcoming Album
Jazz renegade Christian Scott previews “Pyrrhic Victory,” an exclusive off his forthcoming 23-track opus Christian aTunde Adjuah. The 29-year-old musician, who is also known for his sartorial sharpness, is a pioneer of the genre he has coined “stretch music”: “If you look at jazz as a 20th-century fusion form, which is really what it is, stretch music is essentially a 21st-century version of that, assimilating all the contexts and vernaculars that happened in the last 100 years after jazz and mashing them all up into one sound.” With an approach as unique as the customized Terry Gilliam-esque horns he designs and plays, the Grammy-nominated artist’s shaman-like ability to meld a wide spectrum of global musical forms into a singular progressive vision has enticed musical heavyweights such as Radiohead and Prince to work with him. “The horn I play is a hybrid of a flugelhorn, a coronet and a trumpet,” explains the New Orleans native. “People say everything has been done? Bullshit.” Here the prodigy tells us why the great musicians of tomorrow will inhabit a musical landscape without borders.
What drives you to create such a unique sound?
Well, I’m an identical twin but obviously me and my brother, Kiel Adrian Scott, we are two completely different people, and I think that realization as a kid was one of the driving forces behind it. When you realize that the most unique thing you can experience is being you, then you covet being you. That is what the hybrid horns I play are really an extension of. They are strange looking instruments, but I couldn’t ever see myself playing a standard trumpet or a standard flugelhorn, because I’m not the standard issue.
How would you describe your music?
I believe all the great musicians are fusionists now. They are all pulling from places that are seemingly unrelated, and that transcends jazz. Radiohead does the same thing. I mean, when you hear The King of Limbs it could literally be an Afrobeat record.
You're also a maverick when it comes to fashion. What's a must in your on-tour suitcase?
I really like harem pants, and I also have my Fifth Avenue harem pants or drop-crotch pants—I love Comme [des Garcons]. I love tanks in summertime, razorback ones for guys. In America people don't like that so much, but I like them cut so people can see your shoulder blades when you've been working out—girls think that's sexy so I love it [laughs]. And I have to have my YSL cologne, L'Homme Cologne Gingembre. I just love the smell of it. I even spray it on my horns.