Sarah Elizabeth Charles / Christian Scott aTundé Adjuah, Episode One of Don Paul's 'Roots Branch into the Stars' series

by Don Paul

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O:OO—1:31 Excerpt from Sarah’s Inner Dialogue as video trailer for her 2015 album.

1:32–6:52 Don Paul’s views of Sarah, Christian, Danilo Pérez and Gonzalo Rubalcaba as leading music-makers in a rising, 21st-century movement to create new, contemporary, and meaningful compositions from artists’ roots, varieties of ’Stretch Music’ that grow into multi-layered branches. The four are all performing this weekend of March 4th and 5th, 2017 at the 11th annual Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival.

6:52—7:53 Excerpt from the Willerm Delisfort Group’s “Without a Home”, featuring singer Sarah Elizabeth Charles, at the 2014 PAP IJF. Willerm Delisfort keyboard, Jonathan Michel bass, Nawar Marshall drums, Christian McBride saxophone, Marquise Hill trumpet.

7:53—9:08 The high quality of the PAP IJF and of Sarah’s artistry as musician and video-director.

9:08—14:10 “White and Blue” from Inner Dialogue, the album that Sarah and Christian co-produced.John Davis drums, Burniss Elder Travis bass, Jesse Elder piano.

14:10—17:18 How their musical partnership evolved and the trust in each other that lets it “soar”.

17:18—22:44 “Bellis”, featuring Christian on trumpet, from Inner Dialogue.

22:44—24:24. Christian on his admiration for Sarah’s “intellect” and band-leading and his intentions for his ’Stretch Music’ and its multiple layerings.

24:24—28-38 “Twin” from Christian’s 2015 album .

28:39—30:26 “The Canal Suite: Premontion in Rhythm” by Danilo Pérez from Danilo’s 2015 album Panama 500.

30:27—33:56 Talk from Christian about “the further you go backward the further you will go forward” and from Sarah Elizabeth about feeling “a revolution sort of percolating” that will “take back not only jazz, but all the music.”

33:57—38:45 “March to Revolution” from Sarah Elizabeth, released in October 2016.

38:46—43:32 Don Paul asks what Sarah and Christian what they think is “the passional root” of their generation’s new music; Sarah describes the need to “open up”; Christian praises Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar for helping to raise “jazz” again as a popular medium for complex expressions.

43:32—49:16 “Litany against Fear” by Christian from his 2007 album Anthem.

49:17—50:31. Marcus Gilmore, drummer on Anthem, went on to be the drummer with Gonzalo Rubalcaba on 2008’s Avator and 2012’s 21 Century. Christian talks about learning from Danny Barker and Doc Cheatam that jazz is a more sophisticated expression of sincere feeling.

50:32—60:53 “West of the West” from Christian’s 2015 Stretch Music, live with his band of Kris Funn bass, Corey Fonville drums, Lawrence Ellis keyboards, Braxton Cook, Dominic Minix guitars, at KNKX in Tacoma, Washington.

60:54—62:46. Christian speaks about he and Sarah wanting music to serve as “a bridge” and Don Paul recalls Idris Muhammad remarking to him and Maryse that he his peers in the 1960s were “really reaching.”

62:47—74:33. “Equinox” by John Coltrane, 1960, played by Christian’s Sextet (with Elena Pinderhughes on flute instead of Dominic Minix on guitar) at the Montreux Jazz Festival in June 2016.

4:34—76:05 Sarah Elizabeth Charles talks about her Haitian-American father and her teaching in the Rise2Shine program in rural Haiti over the past five years.

76:06—78:22. “Haitian Sunrise” with Sarah and her Inner Dialogue band and Camille Meza on guitar and Jesse Fischer on glockenspiel.

78:23—80:01 Sarah speaks about Haitians as the first Black people to win their freedom from Colonialism.

80:02—88:08. “Wongolo Walé” as arranged by Sar
ah, performed by the Willerm Delisfort Group at the 2014 Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival.

88:09—89:07 Christian speaks about Haitians’ bearing and dignity as like that of “an anointed people.”

89:08—96:15 “The Last Chieftan” from Stretch Music.

96:16—99:00 Sarah speaks about the “amazing work” that Milena Sandler and Joel Widmaeir and all of the PAP IJF do in bringing world-renowned musicians to Haiti and presenting Haiti to the world. Don offers an aside that Graham Greene’s The Comedians is the “most absurd lie imaginable.” Christian speaks about being Sarah’s “biggest fan” and about her part in the “Phases” track from the first album of his 2017 Centennial Trilogy and his wanting to work with her as long as he lives,

99:00—99:24 Intro do “two more composers” who “acculturate” many elements 99:25—100:21 “Galactic Panama” from Danilo Pérez’s 2010 album La Providencia.

104:21—1:04:50 Intro to Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s “Sendero Aliento” from his 2015 album Suite Caminos.

104:50—107:00 “Sendero de Aliento” with Mario Hidalgo on lead vocal for the Santeria invocation.

107:02—107:34 Christian on why the retention of African rhythms has made New Orleans music in particular what it is

107:35—113:49 “Hu-Ta-Nay” from Donald Harrison, Junior’s 1992 album Indian Blues, with Dr. John on lead vocal calling forth Black Indians of New Orleans on Mardi Gras morning.

114:20—1:16:00 Christian speaks on how African drumming masters’ differ and yet do not differ from Swing rhythms. It’s a matter of where musical values are placed, In the end you see that all “are completely and utterly related.”

116:00—1:17:22. Excerpt from “Kind of New”, a track on the 2007 album of that name by Donald Harrison, Junior that featured Christian and Kenny Barron, played here by Christian’s band Again at KNKX in Tacoma, Washington.

117:23—118:32 Thanks to all the musicians and to the Festival. Don concludes with Christian’s bringing a final “grace note” to the conversation in his wanting to gain “A lot more information” from master drummers.

$3 of the $9 lossless download of this piece goes to Rise2Shine in Haiti, $3 goes to the Guardians Institute in New Orleans, and $3 goes to Sticking Up For Children in Haiti and New Orleans. Give more and the organizations will in turn be able to do more.


released April 2, 2017

Recorded at Parc Historique on the first night of the 11th annual Port-au-Prince Jazz Festival.



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Track Name: "Sincere" bridges, Sarah / Christian, Episode One of 'Don Paul's Roots Branch ...", Part 3
Voiceover to Part 3 of Episode One of 'Roots Branch into the Stars' from the 2017 Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival

The drummer on Christian Scott’s Anthem is Marcus Gilmore. Marcus went to play important roles in Gonzalo Rubulcaba’s 2008 Avatar and 2012 21 Century between his work with Vijay Iyer. I remember the Austrian biologist Paul Kammerere’s observation that that there’s a kind of cosmic mosiac or world kaleidescope that takes care of bringing like and like together.

Christian and I talk about jazz and blues.

That was a live performance of “West of the West” from Christian’s 2015 Stretch Music. The band: Kris Funn on bass, Corey Fonville on drums Braxton Cook on alto sax, Lawrence Fields on piano, and Dominic Minix on guitar. Christian speaks nicely in a video shot in the Berklee School as Stretch Music was recorded. He speaks about how his band-members must join “a team” with him. He speaks in the video, too, about how he hopes that five different fans of five different genres can each enjoyhis music. Stretch Music is about layers building bridges within and without. Now in Port- au-Prince he speaks about Sarah’s and his shared intentions.
There—Christian’s Sextet in June 2016 at the 50th anniversary Montreux Jazz Festival, playing “Equinox” from one great reacher, John Coltrane. The harmonic augmentation in the head comes from Christian, Braxton Cook, and on flute Elena Pinderhughes. Many revere John Coltrane’s 1960 original. Others, like me, are moved acutely by Pharaoh Sanders’ 1987 performance. This one of 2016 has it own beauty and a soulfulness beyond shimmer.