Diaspora (Ropeadope)

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Released June 23, 2017

Jazzwise Top 10 Releases of 2017

YouTube: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=8g6ysYvTzUI&list=OLAK5uy_nJzVXQyQSvZS–7UJLnQnygcYa_BoOWDM

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/56xYrAgI5FVVApwKGfy0p2?si=oNsCnJVXTqqxM9uBG7IzzQ


The second record in The Centennial Trilogy is Diaspora. The term diaspora is used here by Christian in the broadest sense possible. He is referring to the world Diaspora – All peoples, oneness & love. While Ruler Rebel identifies who is speaking, Diaspora identifies the listener – who is being spoken to. Growing up in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah was keenly aware that people of different histories and cultures were enduring the same experiences and challenges. Despite this commonality, they accepted the notion that they we’re not kin and therefore nemesis. Topical ideas like race, religious purview, sexual preference & perceived economic standing ultimately stunt the growth of community, which in turn stunts the growth of cities and municipalities, states and provinces, nations, and finally our world. A deliberate stretching of styles and genres speak to this fundamental issue and offers a path forward. A path to break down perceived barriers and work together to build a lasting future.

Track Listing:

1. Diaspora [Feat. Elena Pinderhughes] 04:57

2. IDK [Feat. Braxton Cook] 04:17

3. Our Lady of New Orleans (Herreast Harrison) 03:44

4. Bae (Interlude) [Feat. Lawrence Fields] 02:11

5. Desire and the Burning Girl 05:35

6. Uncrown Her 03:52

7. Lawless [Feat. Braxton Cook] 03:59

8. Completely [Feat. Elena Pinderhughes] 06:18

9. New Jack Bounce (Interlude) 03:00

10. No Love 06:10

11. The Walk [Feat. Sarah Elizabeth Charles] 05:19


Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah: trumpet, siren, sirenette, reverse flugelhorn, SPD-SX, sampling & sonic architecture
Elena Pinderhughes: flute (1, 3, 6-8, 11)
Lawrence Fields: piano, Fender Rhodes (1-4, 6-8, 10, 11)
Kris Funn: bass (1, 2, 6-8, 10, 11)
Cliff Hines: guitar (1-3, 6, 8, 10)
Corey Fonville: drums, SPD-SX (1-4, 6, 7, 10, 11)
Joe Dyson Jr.: Pan African drums, SPD-SX (1-5, 7, 8, 9, 11)
Weedie Braimah: djembe, bata, congas (1, 9)
Chief Shaka Shaka: dununba, sangban, kenikeni (1, 9)

Special Guest

Sarah Elizabeth Charles: vocals (11)

Recorded April 16-21, 2016, at The Parlor, New Orleans, LA

Produced by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah & Chris Dunn
Executive Producers: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah & Louis Marks

Recorded by Matt Grondin and Nick Guttmann; vocals and additional trumpet on “The Walk” recorded by Jesse Fischer

Mixed by Nick Guttmann
Mastered by Paul Blakemore


Review of the first part of the trilogy, Ruler Rebel: Is this the future sound of black American jazz – an inclusive yet rhythmically complex groove based music that owes as a much to black urban culture – predominantly hip hop and trap music rhythms – as it does to jazz improv techniques and rhythms? It’s certainly interesting that similar elements swim through the music of Robert Glasper and Kamasi Washington, who along with Scott are currently big box office, pulling-in substantial new audiences for their music. Ruler Rebel is the first album of a trilogy celebrating 100 years of recorded jazz, and will be followed by Diaspora and Emancipation Procrastination later in the year. At the heart of this music are polyrhythmic grooves that might come from jazz, New Orleans black Indian music, trap, Malian rhythm Kassa Soro and the interplay between an SPD drum machine and live drumming. Largely featuring Scott’s trumpet, the record introduces his articulate and frequently eloquent voice as the narrator of Ruler Rebel, much like the Persian Princess Scheherazade narrating her tales of the mysterious east to Sultan Shahriar over one thousand and one nights. A key track is ‘Encryption’, a summation of Scott’s direction of travel on the album. Here the running rhythm is derived from the New Orleansian Afro-Indian culture married with Malian Kassa Soro. This is in turn is layered with SPD-SX electronic drum machine and sampling machine played by Joe Dyson and Cory Fonsville that introduce rhythmic elements from trap and hip hop. Sounds complex? Well it is, but it works. Other highlights include ‘New Orleansian Love Song’ and ‘New Orleansian Love Song II’ and a celebration of Afro-Indian culture on ‘The Coronation of K. Atunde Adjuah’.

Stuart Nicholson (Jazzwise)