The Oracle- The word “oracle” comes from the Latin verb ōrāre “to speak” and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction
Another full house here at the Blue Whale, the best room in Los Angeles for premium quality sound. The benevolent and wise Joon Lee, creator of the club is back in town and the music never wavers.
Kendrick Scott, the peaceful soul behind the melody, leading an all-star cast of cognition.Out front Walter Smith III with tenor logistics and Mike Moreno whose guitar fills the room with warm waves of echoing vibrations casting a blanket of love on us.
AG, Aaron Goldberg laying down melodic loveliness as the joy in his notes hold up the sound and reach out to caress us. Joe Sanders, whose tone becomes us as we feel the pulse, caressing and playing as he holds the lady close.
Then, there is Kendrick, king rhythm, driving all roads with a suspension meets every bump and curve with a barrage of distinction. There is a force, a casual calm breeze with tenacious readings on the Richter scale but, we are not shaken as we willfully embrace the power of the music.
Kendrick introduces all of the cats and many he has played with for quite time.
Conviction, the title track of the last album, is about Kendrick addressing himself and asking questions to see if he is living by the standard and mores that are true and in sync with his being. While he searches to find the truth within himself, perhaps we will take that same look at ourselves, the good and the bad and learn from the experience.
They proceed with a Herbie Hancock composition, “I Have a Dream”. For these cats Heroes and legends have turned into peers. The inspiration has grown a new culture that respects, stretches, reaches and uses the environment of today to tell modern day stories while leaving a foot, or at least a few toes in the soil. One thing that any Master will tell you is to speak and be heard by the distinction of your own voice. Music is an art, a search and a journey that can imitate life and transcribe dreams. A nocturnal spirit connected to notes and prayers.
What I love about the Blue Whale is how the concentration of the audience becomes part of the sound. The silence is so precious and the blessings of sound bestowed upon us are so vast. We are a bundle of energy feeding and feeding off of each other. We are living inside the O of Oracle like an atom; one tiny dot in the Universe whose sound travels through the Galaxy emanating light and love.
There is such a natural and strong bond between the musicians. Friendship and trust are key elements to cohesiveness. Songs are skeletons that are made human every night. They are familiar but never played the same. “Like Water” is a perfect example.
Bruce Lee, Master and lord of the art of Chinese Martial arts says that we should, “be like water my friend”, able to flow and adapt in an every adjusting world. Crash!
Lotus – a tune from the up coming album is sweet and calm as the sun and morning dew produce the elements for life a flower. We listen and imagine life evolving and unfolding before us.
This band is together as a sound. No antics, no drama, no check me out, only the deepest respect and admiration of the beauty of compositions. Bringing them to life through their performance.
Some of this new music will be featured on the next new Oracle album for Blue Note Records. Flying Lotus’, a derivative of Coltrane, composition that features the other Kendrick, Kendrick Lamar was performed by Kendrick Scott who composed this piece from Lamar’s rap. Brother Was, the Blue Note wise one, is reviving the legendary label by signing all of the young brilliance and making sure that when you search for that beacon of sound, the one that draws you near and begs the question ‘Who was That” after hearing the most intriguing vibrations, the epicenter is Blue Note records.
Last set of the tour, the music tonight is on high, titled or untitled, it’s precious. “Milton” is the title of a John Ellis piece, young musicians inspired by young musicians, peers and brothers. Sanders is now is making his instrument weep, tears falling all off of those strings! Aaron’s sense of travel has velocity, while Mike rides on top of the melody. Walter’s tenderness abounds, there are no vocals but the sound sings!
Duke Pearson’s “You know I Care” is a standard but played like an original. Not with new changes and chord structures, but with simplicity, tenderness, respect and ownership.
Laden with groove and direction that starts right here and points towards the future. “What the Oracle told you is only for you, Neo”. “Do not try to bend the spoon, that is impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth; that there is no spoon”.
Be water my friend!