Jazz trumpeter Christian Scott has definitely commanded our attention lately with his style, his musical brilliance and his well, brass; the kind of jazzcat to cut his hair like a young Plug Two and perform sophisticated live arrangements of, say, “No Church In The Wild.” As part of their ongoing NEXT Collective coverage, Revivalist published this exclusive in-depth Q&A with the young horns-man today and included a stream of the studio version (check the Christian Scott Quintet’s live rendition in St. Louis here) of that very Watch The Throne cover, part of NC’s Cover Art project (drops February 26th–more on that). Listen below, get a quote from Scott about what motivated his desire to cover that particular anthem (in a word: swag) and then click through to read the his full conversation with Revivalist:
RV: For Cover Art, you arranged “No Church In The Wild” from the Watch the Throne album. How did you come to pick that track?
CS: To be honest with you I just like the bassline. I felt like the bassline had a hump in it that could be adaptable. I really like finding things that swing in a certain way, but you wouldn’t listen to it and say that the line is swinging. There’s something about it that has a hump in it that I knew we could beat up the beat like that. So when Chris told me what the personnel was, I knew that any tune I picked I would be able to get them to play right. With that bassline in particular, I knew Ben Williams was on the hit and there’s pretty much nothing he can’t do with the bass. I knew that even though it was in a funky key for the bass — it’s not an open-string key for the bass so it’d be a lot of work for him — he would still be able to walk it and make it hump. So it was kind of a perfect fit.
Plus the tune, for lack of a better term, has got swag to it. I felt like if you could take something like that — a Jay-Z & Kanye West tune — and kind of throw a little Miles vibe on it, it would be a color and a shape that people could get down with. Ultimately I just wanted to make sure that whichever tunes we picked for the record would be something that when people heard it, it would shift the way they saw other music. I didn’t want to pick something that people could already envision a jazz version of; I picked a song that had such a different vibe. I want people to be like, “Damn, I didn’t even know you could do a jazz version of that!” I use the term stretch music for this type of stuff. It’s jazz or jazzy or whatever, but you’re just stretching the shit out of it.