Kendrick Scott, Corridors Review
by Nolan DeBuke
Kendrick Scott just released his fifth album titled Corridors. The drummer and composer chose a trio format, joined by saxophonist Walter Smith III and bassist Reuben Rogers. Corridors have nine tracks; eight are Scott originals, along with Bobby Hutcherson’s “Isn’t This My Sound Around Me?” rounding out the set. Scott composed the material during the Covid-19 lockdown.
A shifting and riff-based selection titled “What Day Is It?” starts the album and finds the drummer filling the chordless trio with many layers and colors from his drum set. Scott’s drumming has elements of swing, African rhythms, and contemporary sounds of hip-hop and dance. As the song switches between straight and swing eights, his concepts of the two feels become clear. Scott’s multiple layers of rhythmic patterns are at the heart of both styles.
Closing the album is “Threshold,” on which Scott performs a music drum solo for an introduction before the blues-based melody enters. The different rhythmic patterns of the theme are expanded upon during the solos. The three musicians listen carefully to fill the extra space usually occupied by chords with strong rhythmic and melodic structures. Smith’s playing is textural and colored with modern jazz based on riffs, bop, and pentatonics. Rogers chooses to explore his solo in a quarter-note pulse, giving a fine example of his interplay with Scott.
Corridors is a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection of chordless trios. This trio represents a modern perspective that also pulls from contemporary music beyond the jazz genre. The end result is an album that will reward repeated listening and exploration.