Pianist Stephen Scott has spent considerable time in the company of an immortal. His work with Sonny Rollins has served notice of a maturing talent, and the positive signs continue with this set. He works with a rhythm section that is no stranger to Olympian heights: Ron Carter on bass and Victor Lewis on drums are effectively augmented by percussionist Steve Kroon. Scott’s touch is sure, and his feel for melody and musical contour pleasing, as he explores eleven tunes, seven of his own creation. His distinctive treatment of Berlin’s “Cheek to Cheek” opens with Carter inventively outlining a vamp that soon give way to a straightahead groove on which Scott demonstrates his ability to steer clear of clich . His arrangement of Wayne Shorter’s “Virgo” stretches languorously over a spacious frame, and features a terrifically melodic drum solo. His own works operate in a variety of rhythmic modes, providing a range of musical stimuli that keeps the session at a high level.
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