Album Review: Dred Scott Rides Alone from Dred Scott
Album: Dred Scott Rides Alone
Artist: Dred Scott
It is hard to imagine that all of the instruments on one recording — piano, bass, drums, shaker, and keyboards are played by one individual but that is what multi-instrumentalist Dred Scott has done for his latest release Dred Scott Rides Alone. A collage of voices contributes to the mixes, communicating a distinct phrase or statement from every instrument. When layered, the multiple voices compose a series of vignettes that each come alive.
The perky stride of the keys nimbly moving across “Flying Bighorn” permeate mirth and a celebratory mood as though the notes convey an over-arching joy to be alive. Likewise, many of the tracks display this spirited feel that is inviting and spills out into the audience. The pensive vibe of “Remember PN” is expressed by the glistening strokes of the keys and the calming wisps of the shaker. The conversations formed by the instruments are gentle on the ears like in “Consolations,” caressing the aural senses even as notes soar and lobe over the rhythmic pulse. “Wild Turkeys” is a funky number with a shot of ragtime in the mixture that transitions into the smooth jazz sonorous of “Goodbye America.”
Each track is a mini-story, detailing the series of progressions and bringing the audience into the narratives. Though listeners are outsiders, Dred Scott makes them feel like they are a part of the tunes, contributing to the stories by being affected by the music. The playing is tireless, always finding another place of joy to communicate through the phrasing of the instruments and the exchanges they make between one another. So many musical styles can be identified in the compositions, proving that music is not defined by a genre but by open communication among the instruments.
Dred Scott – piano, bass, drums, shaker, and keyboards