Latest Scott’s recording is his 3rd since Oracle band came together and it is also his Blue Note début. Cast spans the same musicians who had been recording with him on his previous realise: Conviction, issued by Concorde Jazz.
So we have here a group of young but already well established musicians. Taylor Eigsti on piano, whom I remember from Gretchen Parlato‘s group. He is excellent team player and very sensitive accompanier. He proved himself great deal as well in Eric Harland‘s trio recently. The same can be said about guitarist Mike Moreno, who collaborated with artists mentioned above together with his pianist colleague. Saxophonist John Ellis shared with two above many recording sessions and almost entire band, except the leader share the line up of his latest Mobro recording. A wonderful composition for Nonet with five singers. Many can remember him replacing Eric Marienthal in Pattitucci‘s group as well as being a part of Charlie Hunter squads.
It comes with no surprise then that those gentlemen are supplying mature jazz with the consistency based on long well being together. They clearly can sense each other’s intentions. Opening Kendricks’ intro makes then more like an invitation into playing together than sets up the framework for whole recording. Let alone trying to dominate it. In this regard entire concept reminds me Conviction, but the music here is completely different.
Except This Song In Me, the only song on the record, which has very melancholic mood and is beautifully sung by guest vocalist – Lizz Wright. Its roots are deep in Soul tradition with the band being serving rather tasty fusion tissue on which dark are warm Lizz’s voice floats.
Mantra , just like tittle bit We Are The Drum show drummers architectural skills. On first it is the saxophonists who leads the band to the culmination weaved around the drumming patterns. Closely followed by piano supplying harmonic base. On second guitarist’s gentle phrases are giving direction to the others, again with piano and sax following.
What is really marvellous here is how the rhythm section operates. It keeps its timing duty steady but manages somehow to keep it in the background. In never comes to first plan unless you focus on that and enforce it listening to bass lines. Other way it merges with the melody lines in pretty unexpected way.
The Long Shadow is the best example to observe that. Sonically it is quite unique despite of reminiscences to the fusion sound of nighties. Reminding me some of GRP recordings in particular. Hence I am surprised that this material had been issued by Blue Note. But Kendrick’s drumming has no connection with mentioned above at all, taking lots from Billy Harts ‘tradition. That’s probably why himself and Harland are remaining Lloyd‘s most regular collaborators.
This is certainly very good début and very moody and romantic recording which comes well together with modern feeling as well as with a tradition.