12th August 2009 — On March 30, 2010 star trumpeter Christian Scott will release Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, his highly anticipated, all-new 10-song collection. The album was recorded at the renowned Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey where legendary Rudy Van Gelder engineered the work. Van Gelder, who is known as one of the greatest recording engineers in jazz history for his work with John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock among others, says about the new album, “This is one of the best things I have done in a long, long time.” Yesterday You Said Tomorrow was co-produced by Scott and Chris Dunn and marks the young trumpeter’s fourth Concord Jazz release.
Born in New Orleans in 1983, Scott has always been acutely aware of the legacy of jazz and its role within the broader context of 20th century history. Regarding the new album, Scott says, “I wanted to create a musical backdrop that referenced everything I liked about the music from the ‘60s – Miles Davis’ second quintet, Coltrane’s quartet, Mingus’ band – coupled with music made by people like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. The music from that era just had more depth, whether it was jazz or rock or folk or whatever. The political and social climate at the time was much heavier, and there were a few musicians who weren’t afraid to reference that climate in their work. The ones who did that – and at the same time captivated people in a way that referenced their own humanity – were the ones who ended up lasting the longest.”
Yesterday You Said Tomorrow references a saying that Scott’s grandfather would use to emphasize the importance of recognizing the work at hand and making the most of the available time to complete it. Aided by guitarist Matthew Stevens, pianist Milton Fletcher, Jr., bassist Kristopher Keith Funn and drummer Jamire Williams, Scott addresses the issues head on, regardless of how uncomfortable the subject matter may be. He opens the set with “K.K.P.D.,” a track full of dark harmonies and tense, competing polyrhythms. The title stands for “Ku Klux Police Department,” a reference to what Scott calls the “phenomenally dark and evil” attitude held by some of the local police toward African American citizens of New Orleans when he was growing up – and the similar dynamic that persists there and in other cities to this day.
Scott wipes away some of the darker shades in “The Eraser,” the melodic second track penned by singersongwriter Thom Yorke, co-founder and frontman of Radiohead (“The Eraser” is the title track to Yorke’s 2006 solo debut). The aptly titled piece resets the tone of the overall recording, says Scott. “With that song, we’re erasing the issue that was raised in the previous song, and then the album starts,” he says. “Those first two songs are very much a part of the album, but they’re there to establish an environment where you’re willing to listen to whatever else we have to say, because you’ve been opened up to the validity of the original argument.”
Since his Concord debut, Rewind That, Scott has received significant accolades. He was quickly tapped as one of the faces to watch by Billboard, received a Grammy nomination for Rewind That and named one of Ebony’s “30 Young Leaders Under 30.” His style, sensibility and musical talent prove his appeal to both the hip-hop community and jazz purists, and he has performed with the likes of Prince, Mos Def, DJ Muggs, Marcus Miller and Glen Ballard (Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Dave Matthews). This past year Scott topped the Downbeat 2009 Critic’s Poll for Trumpeter of the Year, and he has appeared alongside George Clooney in the film Leatherheads as well as in the critically acclaimed Jonathan Demme film Rachel Getting Married starring Anne Hathaway.