Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Kendrick Scott Oracle: Conviction

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

If Conviction is an examination of character-including the famous ones of Malcolm X and St. Francis of Assisi-drummer-composer Kendrick Scott’s own personality proves thoughtful and mellow, without sacrificing intensity. The second album by Scott’s quintet Oracle is as beautiful as its 2007 debut, The Source. It’s also more mature: a streamlined, through-conceived statement from a musician with something to say.

Scott’s drums, here more concerned with color than beat, are often muted in attack and in the mix-a marked departure from his pyrotechnics with Terence Blanchard. That restraint is Conviction‘s core value, self-consciously so. Indeed, the two tunes with the most stridently convicted titles, “We Shall Overcome by Any Means” and “Liberty or Death,” are the two gentlest: the former a short solo by bassist Joe Sanders at almost imperceptible volume, the latter a rippling meditation dominated by John Ellis’ bass clarinet and tenor saxophone.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published