Yesterday You Said Tomorrow

Recently, within the past week, I decided to dive into an album which I had little experience with. Although I’ve watched a couple Christian Scott interviews and a handful of his performances on youtube, I really hadn’t sat down to explore either of the two albums I have from him sitting on my desktop. Lingering on campus with a coffee and an open feeling, the one song that I knew him for, “Isadora,” came onto my headphones. So, starting from the beginning I jumped into Scott’s second latest album, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow. Now, usually I tend to muse on the importance of modern jazz and its turn towards fusion styling as a crucial step in the survival of it as a growing artform; especially, in relation to the traditionalist view of jazz held by many academics. However, I’ll skip that discourse and go straight into the importance of the record as its own important piece of art. While Christian Scott has displayed heavy use of fusion elements (funk, rock, distorted guitars) in previous recordings, this album is refreshingly introspective. That is not to say that it lacks accessibility, but that it is warmly personal. There is so much space on this album that it practically invites the listener into the room, and the whispering quality of Christian’s horn is a detailed contrast to the live and brooding sound of the rhythm section. What is important is that the emotion that comes from listening to it feels truly crucial to the current moment. There is no struggle or any amount of work necessary to fall into the lines of their music, but yet, you appreciate everything these guys say because it truly means something. Starting with the epic and frantic K.K.P.D. and moving to the inspiring and contemplative “The Eraser,” they let you listener know that you’re listening to something special. Moving onto “Isadora” and “Angola, LA & the 13th Amendment,” they bring the perspective even deeper, exploring something profoundly personal and moving. Nearing the end of the album, you’ll encounter one of the more outwardly driving songs “Jenacide.” In all truthfulness, the last couple of songs on the record aren’t the strongest but they do hold something special, so I hope that these tunes eventually start to bloom for me. Overall, this album has the ability to have a large impact on anyone who gives it sincere attention.The emotion is as rich and complex as the delta blues but with a sound/aesthetic that is vastly exploratory and unique. Pick this album up and take some time with it.