Kendrick Scott: Corridors

Rating: ★★★

Record and Artist Details


Kendrick Scott
Reuben Rogers
Walter Smith III


Blue Note


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Rec. date not stated

The Texan drummer Kendrick Scott's major vehicle as leader-composer has been his Oracle band that he formed in 2006. Corridors, his third album for Blue Note, is a stripped down version of the band; a classic sax-bass-drums trio. Scott, who's backed the likes of Charles Lloyd and Terence Blanchard among others, draws an analogy to the paring down to essentials experienced in the lockdowns during which the album was largely conceived.

The exposed nature of the format is a very different proposition from Oracle's soft-focus moods built around richly-layered harmonies for piano and guitar. But Scott is well up to the task and offers colourful textural detail as well as a deep, dark-centred pulse in his playing. Opener ‘Whose Day is It?’ is an example with its African-ish folk tune-like lilt and pulsating vortex of bass and drums. Compositionally, it's reminiscent of Brit saxophonist Julian Argüelles, while new Blue Note signing tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III lucidly narrates without calling attention to himself as a soloist.

The only non-original, Bobby Hutcherson's ‘Isn't This My Sound Around Me?’, is also the most bustling straight-ahead track with Reuben Rogers’ bass right on the money. The airily reflective ballad ‘A Voice Through the Door’ and other originals such as ‘One Door Closes Another Opens’ with its non-verbal vocal line points to Scott's love of conventional jazz harmony.

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