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Review: Kendrick Scott at Bohemian Caverns, Washington, D.C.

Taking a break from Blanchard and Elling, the drummer's Oracle is formidable

Kendrick Scott at Freihofer's Jazz Festival at Saratoga Springs

Too often with drummer-led jazz combos, a live set becomes little more than a showcase for the drummer’s abilities, showing off percussive gymnastics at the expense of the music. Not so with Kendrick Scott, who despite possessing some of the finest chops of any young drummer around demonstrates a focus on using his drumming to serve his music, not his music to serve his drumming.

Scott has a become a regular visitor to the nation’s capital over the past year and a half, anchoring Kurt Elling’s band and serving in his regular role as Terence Blanchard’s drummer, but his visit to Bohemian Caverns with his group Oracle on the occasion of the release of the album Conviction offered Washingtonians a broader look at Scott’s musical vision. Scott led his Oracle through a set built to showcase the new album, highlighting his growth as a composer and bandleader in addition to his superb drumming.

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