Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
319

Tom Scott and the L.A. Express: Bluestreak

Douglas Payne By

Sign in to view read count Views
In the 1970s, Tom Scott was pretty bankable stuff. In addition to countless pop, jazz and film sessions, he blew out one catchy little tune after another on his own albums and those with the L.A. Express. He littered the Columbia vaults with some good easy-listening pop-jazz in the '70s: Tom Cat , Blow it Out , New York Connection and (one of my faves as a teen) Street Beat. Trouble is, Scott's simple little tunes and simpleminded playing on a variety of acoustic and electric wind instruments gets mighty old awfully fast. One or two listens and you get the idea. He meandered through the 1980s with nothing much left to say and pretty much withered to seed on a variety of worthless GRP outings since then.

Scott, once a promising Coltrane disciple who soon settled on money-making music, here brings back the "L.A. Express" concept, enlisting former studio associates Robben Ford on guitar, the tremendous Joe Sample on Fender Rhodes and occasional piano, Steve Gadd on drums and Ralph MacDonald on percussion. Nothing terribly exciting happens. But it's nice to hear him throw some bayou funk into dancehall numbers like "Tom Cat" and Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up." In fact, it's the old tunes like these and "Sneakin' in the Back" and "Dirty Old Man" that are the most fun to hear, chugging with an insistent and dirty groove. While it's short on solos or invention, Bluestreak is long on pleasant, easy-going funk.

Unfortunately, when Scott leads on soprano, much of the whole affair sounds like another one of those snoozy Grover Washington Jr. albums. You can't help but wish the guy would stick to his very identifiable tenor playing. L.A. Express fans won't be disappointed with Bluestreak - and it's good to hear Tom Scott play like he means it again. But even though Robben Ford takes some nice solos, it would have been preferable to hear this team plumb the depths of the unexpected and turn up a little more juice. It doesn't mean this disc isn't worth a listen: it's a pleasant return to form for Scott. Terrible cover art, though.

| Record Label: GRP Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
[no cover]
Master Of Funk: The...
HighNote
2013
buy
[no cover]
Telling Stories
HighNote
2012
buy
[no cover]
The Honeysuckle Breeze
HighNote
2011
buy
[no cover]
Today / Ain't Got...
HighNote
2010
buy
Cannon-Reloaded: An All Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderley
Cannon-Reloaded: An...
Concord Music Group
2008
buy
Bebop United
Bebop United

2006
buy
Michael Brecker Michael Brecker
sax, tenor
Earl Klugh Earl Klugh
guitar, acoustic
Spyro Gyra Spyro Gyra
band/orchestra
David Sanborn David Sanborn
saxophone
Bob James Bob James
piano
Lee Ritenour Lee Ritenour
guitar
Wayman Tisdale Wayman Tisdale
bass, electric
Larry Carlton Larry Carlton
guitar

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.