In exile too long
One of the most distinctive jazz vocalists in history, Jimmy Scott's male soprano has been tragically underrecorded.
This, his first album in 17 years, shows the former Lionel Hampton front man still in full possession of both his impressive chops and his fine-tuned interpretive touch.
The backing musicians here are of the highest caliber, including Kenny Barron on piano, Ron Carter on bass, drummer Grady Tate and David "Fathead" Newman on reeds. The selection of titles is of the same quality, with compositions by Sammy Cahn, the Gershwins and Cole Porter.
In such a setting, Jimmy Scott's genius is in full flower. His handling of gems such as "Embraceable You," "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "My Foolish Heart" makes each track here a masterpiece. His use of pauses, his incredibly expressive voice, capable of minute nuance, and his timing are on a par with that of the all-time greats.
Jimmy Scott was gone too long, and it's good to have him back. Let's hope it's a lengthy stay.
© Copyright Jim Trageser
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