Rhoda Scott

Movin’ Blues

There’s a tension in black music between Saturday night and Sunday morning, between the Dionysian and the Apollonian, between lust and the Lord. Organist Rhoda Scott, bare feet on her pedals, trods between these.

Based in France since 1967, Scott came up in both the church and Harlem jazz clubs, and on “Movin’ Blues” she lingers deep in the groove before rocking out and trading eights with her sole accompanist, drummer Thomas Derouineau. That’s her marker, deliberate tremolo-filled affairs that are almost professorial in approach, authoritative and relaxed, that often explode into ecstatic finales. The real strengths of the album, however, are in Scott’s sanctified sounds: “Come Sunday” begins with an eerie deep bass hum that hushes the church with casual stateliness. “Let My People Go” is definitively a folk tune, so much a part of America’s musical DNA that any elaboration can seem superfluous. Yet, Scott includes echoes of Bach fugues and stride playing in the mix while maintaining a subliminal connection to this familiar melody. Finally, “Prière” is a praise song—a prayer summoning and summarizing Scott’s own devotion. It’s a personal statement that’s meant to speak directly—and in unadorned fashion—to her faith.

On Sale Now
December 2020
George Benson
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