Kendrick Scott Oracle returns April 5 with the release of A Wall Becomes A Bridge (Blue Note), an inspiring new 12-song cycle about overcoming obstacles both personal and collective. The album was produced by Derrick Hodge, and find’s Scott augmenting his long-running quintet with the addition of turntablist Jahi Sundance who joins guitarist Mike Moreno, pianist Taylor Eigsti, reedist John Ellis, and bassist Joe Sanders to expand Oracle’s palette. The lead track “Mocean” is available today to stream or download.
Kendrick Scott lays out his vision for the album in his 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.