Kendrick Scott, drummer of note with Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Kurt Elling and Charles Lloyd among others, is a democratic band leader. He gives his fellow Oracle musicians, saxophonist John Ellis, keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Mike Moreno and bassist Joe Sanders lots of lovely room to play and provides them with the most spurring of support.
The music is generously layered and richly harmonic, the rhythms sliding, pulling and pushing in turn, the solos integrated into the tunes and never over-extended, but at the same time the music feels very open and not constrained by arrangement. As well as getting playing space the musicians get composing opportunities, too.
One of my favourite tracks is Scott’s composition Mantra, which I first heard on Terence Blanchard’s New Orleans/Hurricane Katrina masterpiece, A Tale Of God’s Will. There is also a gorgeous guest vocal track called This Song Is Me from Liz Wright who collaborated in its writing.
When Scott does take the spotlight – as at the start of Never Catch Me – his musicality, subtlety of touch and nuanced sound combine into a real treat.
They are indeed the drum – and a whole lot of other instruments besides.
Categories: CD review