Shirley Scott: Like Cozy
Like so many other players Scott’s approach to the organ was grounded in her earlier career as a pianist. Both of these dates provide a rare chance to compare her styles on the two instruments up close. Beginning with the easy syrupy swing of “Sweet Lorraine” on organ, she switches to piano for “I Thought I’d Let You Know.” Coming full circle of sorts “I Should Care” features her on both through the studio wizardry of overdubbing. Differing from most of her colleagues Scott regularly employed a bassist in her group, freeing up her feet from the necessity of pedal work and allowing her to focus more efficiently on melodic and harmonic possibilities in her improvisations. Her approach to acoustic keys is likewise grounded in relaxed lyricism and cleanly articulated chording.
In typical Moodsville fashion all of the tunes on each of the albums are standards or ballads taken at slow to medium tempos. Duvivier and Edgehill (colleagues from the Davis group) fit like a rhythmic glove around Scott’s lead statements and Tucker adopts a similarly sensitive touch when it comes to accompaniment on the piano pieces. Track lengths are limited to the four to five minute range, keeping things concise, but Scott still finds the space for plenty of relaxed and imaginative invention. Visit her hard-edged vibrato-heavy lines on “Laura” for just one of many examples. And while there isn’t a burner in the bunch this collection works as a lavishly programmed source of elegant small combo jazz with liberally placed soulful accents. Hopefully it will rekindle wider interest in the substantial talent that was Scott’s gift.
Fantasy on the web: http://www.fantasyjazz.com
Track Listing: Sweet Lorraine/ I Thought I
Personnel: Shirley Scott- organ, piano*; George Tucker- bass*; George Duvivier- bass; Arthur Edgehill- drums. Recorded: October 23, 1958, Hackensack, NJ, and April 8* & September 27, 1960, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Record Label: Prestige Records