Following the release of his 2015 Blue Note debut, We Are the Drum, drummer Kendrick Scott found himself in a rut. The music he now composed and played just never felt quite good enough. His inspiration faltered and self-doubt settled in. But, as Scott now points out, “Wayne Shorter says there’s always something unfolding on the other side of the negative.” Scott reached out to his co-conspirator and producer, bassist Derrick Hodge, for some help. “Derrick said, ‘We need to tap into your fears and insecurities and make some art about them.’” The compositions Scott had been working on, some final and some works in progress, were brought to the recording studio where “Derrick and the band helped me unfold them,” turning his ideas into A Wall Becomes A Bridge, the Kendrick Scott Oracle’s newest album set to drop on April 5, once again on Blue Note records.
Scott lays out his vision for the album in the following artistic statement:
Walls are easier to build than bridges. We are often quicker to stack bricks built of fear than we are to weave a cable of empathy and reach across a divide. Where I see walls, then, I see an admission of our fundamental fragility – of vulnerability. So the question that I began to ask myself was how I personally, and we collectively, can use those vulnerabilities not as points of separation, but as points of convergence?
I realized that my life’s purpose is to become an instrument of peace; to bridge divides through my music. Yet, in pursuing this I found my path stagnated by my internal walls of fear and insecurity. As I worked to explore and understand these fears in myself, I came to see my personal journey as parallel with our collective social consciousness.
This project is, therefore, a response to a personal struggle that is also a collective one: how we are more connected than ever, but also more separated; and the opportunities that lie before us within that awareness.
This music was created to explore this narrative, revealing itself from the end (>>>>>>>>>>>) of the story to the beginning (>). Traversing 12 stages including Perspective, Breakthrough, Doubt, Acceptance, Denial, and Innocence, in the end, we arrive at the seat of the allegory: transformation and optimism. Ultimately, our walls don’t exist in contrast to bridges; they are our provocations and precursors to our breakthrough.
Joining Scott on the record is his longstanding quintet comprised of guitarist Mike Moreno, pianist Taylor Eigsti, reedist John Ellis, and bassist Joe Sanders with the new addition of turntablist Jahi Sundance. You can stream “>>>>>>>>>Voices”, the newest single from A Wall Becomes A Bridge below, with its peaceful, soothing and introspective beginning which builds up into a powerful and explosive finale complete with solos by Ellis and Moreno. Further below, find the tour dates in support for the record and the complete track listing of the album.
A Wall Becomes a Bridge, the new album by the Kendrick Scott Oracle is set to drop April 5 on Blue Note records.
KENDRICK SCOTT ORACLE – 2019 TOUR DATES:
March 22 – Orchestra Hall – Detroit, MI
April 25 – Regattabar – Boston, MA
April 26 – SOUTH – Philadelphia, PA
April 27 – SOUTH – Philadelphia, PA
April 30 – Littlefield – Brooklyn, NY
May 2 – Constellation – Chicago, IL
May 3 – Dazzle – Denver, CO
May 4 – Blue Whale – Los Angeles, CA
May 5 – Triple Door – Seattle, WA
May 6 – Jack London Revue (PDX Jazz) – Portland, OR
May 14 – Blue Note Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
May 15 – Blue Note Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
May 16 – Blue Note Tokyo – Tokyo, Japan
A WALL BECOMES A BRIDGE TRACK LISTING
6. >>>>>>>Don Blue
9. >>>>The Catalyst
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.