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Kendrick Scott Oracle: We Are the Drum

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We Are the Drum would be worth its sticker price just for Lizz Wright sigh-singing the beautiful, melodically off-kilter ballad “This Song in Me.” But the third album by drummer Kendrick Scott’s quintet Oracle has 10 more lovely tracks, each built with a delicacy that imbues even the few uptempo tunes with gentleness.

“Synchrony,” for example, swings with such speed that it jitters. Pianist Taylor Eigsti plays a half-time intro that tempers (but doesn’t slow) Scott and bassist Joe Sanders; alto saxophonist John Ellis and guitarist Mike Moreno play the melody at regular tempo, but with a ruminative sweetness that offers just a hint of poignancy. The first 80 seconds of “Never Catch Me” are a chopsy solo from the leader that underlines the unexpected pathos of the tune-especially in Eigsti’s runaway solo.

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