Corridors (feat. Reuben Rogers & Walter Smith III)
Drummer Kendrick Scott’s third Blue Note release finds him in a sparse, springy trio with tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III and bassist Reuben Rogers. It’s a departure: Scott’s flagship group Oracle relies on guitar and piano in its broader soundscape, but on Corridors the harmony is implied, and Scott’s agile, evocative drumming is more in the forefront (“Threshold” and “Your Destiny Awaits” are a treat in that regard). The writing is almost all Scott’s as well, save for the late Bobby Hutcherson’s perennial swinger “Isn’t This My Sound Around Me?” Scott and partners have a way of mixing things up: The brief sketches “One Door Closes” and “Another Opens” are spun off from the full-length piece of that name; the first features drums and bass, then drums and saxophone, both involving overdubs and a strong flavor of the unexpected. There are also moments of solo bass and solo tenor, and even beautiful singing on “A Voice Through the Door” and “One Door Closes, Another Opens.” The voice is Scott’s, often in dreamy, melodic unison with Smith, or at times as a background texture.