Listening to Little Jimmy Scott sing is different from listening to any other singer. His high-pitched voice carries more emotion than any instrument can reasonably bear, and seems to come from a special place deep within his heart. Yet that voice also seems to resound from a profound source far beyond any one man, a place where individuality no longer exists: The everlasting pulse of the universe. Jimmy Scott's voice soars in the heaven of romantic love, and burns in the hell of a broken heart. When he sings, his voice surrounds, from the inside and out.Now 86, ...read more
All About Jazz: You've been out of the country recently?Jimmy Scott: Yes, I was in France and Italy. I was there with my regular group. Hilliard Greene is on bass, Michael Keenan is on piano, and Victor Jones is on drums. Hilliard has been with me for twelve years, and the other two have been with me for at least four years. I organized a band in '85, and Hilliard was with me then.AAJ: Was the restart of your career in '84?JS: Yes. I was in Cleveland, and I was intending to go back ...read more
Jimmy had soul way back when people weren't using the word," observed Ray Charles. Even though through the years he's inspired champions like Quincy Jones, Lou Reed, Elton John and director David Lynch, NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Scott's career has been a rollercoaster for over seven decades. He's unlikely ever to become a household name and yet scores of singers have been influenced by his powerfully emotional style and uniquely expressive phrasing, among them Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Frankie Valli. Nancy Wilson, who recalls hearing his recordings of Everybody Needs Somebody" and The Show Must Go On" at age ...read more
No singer in jazz or popular music can convey heartache and loss with the conviction of Jimmy Scott. Then again, few have endured the struggles and overcome the challenges that the Cleveland native with the inimitable soprano has faced over his long and remarkable career. This compilation in Milestone's Profiles series draws from a set of albums Scott recorded for the label over a short span from 2000-01, when he was about 75 and about a decade following his triumphant return to the music scene after years working outside the business. The album focuses on Scott's idiosyncratic, ...read more
No matter how you define it, a real jazz singer" is exactly what Jimmy Scott is. His phrasing and delivery are simply impeccable, and – though at age 78 his voice may be a bit rough around the edges – he sings straight from the heart. Scott's newest release offers up ten ballads sung in his typical unpredictable and captivating style. This is prime Scott luring the listener into each song with his subtle nuances and revealing hidden meanings behind every lyric, communicating the longing, the sadness, and the pain of lost love better than any singer ...read more
It took a long time in coming, but Jimmy Scott’s sure found his career groove with his series of “comeback” albums with Todd Barkan for the Milestone label. Barkan somehow knows how to set up Scott’s distinctive vocal presence – an unparalleled dynamic between the performer's exquisite sense of jazz and blues timing, and the ravages of Kallmann’s Syndrome on his voice – with simple perfection. On his fourth Milestone set, Scott burns like a classic torch singer through classic songs, except he seems to do more than sing these songs – he seems to embody them, to give them ...read more
There is something strangely perfect about Jimmy Scott’s singing. And I do not attribute this to his well-documented Kallman’s Syndrome, a condition that has preserved his beautiful high tenor. Mr. Scott’s recordings are characterized by an uncharacterizable voice and delivery that keeps the listener off center. This works both to his advantage and disadvantage. While Moonglow" is delivered and accepted with a smile, the Beatles’ Yesterday" is offered with disconcerting vocal starts and stops. Still provocative, it is not bad, just anxious. Scott is unsurpassed as a singer of romantic ballads, particularly those ballads associated with loss. This ...read more
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