It has been six years since drummer Kendrick Scott and his band Oracle released their debut, The Source. On Conviction, only guitarist Mike Moreno remains. The rest of the lineup is filled out by John Ellis on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, bassist Joe Sanders, and Taylor Eigsti on piano and Fender Rhodes. The set was produced by Derrick Hodge of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Nearly half the program is devoted to original compositions; the balance is made up of carefully chosen, wide-ranging covers. Conviction isn't a showcase for Scott's drumming skills, though he is clearly the leader – evidence of his kit work is right up front in this crystalline mix.
Though Kendrick Lamar said rappers had until April 7 to get their stuff together, they’ve now been given a week to breathe. The tracklist is 14 songs long, ne of which is the lead single “Humble,” produced by Mike WiLL Made-It and Pluss. The song is expected to debut near the top of the Billboard Hot 100 next week.
Drummer and composer Kendrick Scott kicked off his Blue Note contract four years ago with We Are the Drum. Expertly produced by Derrick Hodge, Scott’s creative confidant and musical brother, and featuring a stunning guest performance by vocalist Lizz Wright, it earned rave reviews and reiterated how Oracle, Scott’s long-running working group, is one of the most thoughtfully powerful jazz bands of its generation.
Last Chance for Common Sense, Rodney Kendrick's third album, is a typically exotic and eclectic set, drawing equally from funk, world music, and gospel. Some of the songs lack cohesive structures, but the playing - not only from Kendrick, but from Dewey Redman, Justin Robinson, and several others - is inventive and invigorating, making the album well worth a listen.