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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 their own life through his voice.
Scott discovers more shadow than light in “Since I Fell For You,” which pianist Larry Willis and saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman cook up to boiling, and his duet with Willis on “Those Who Were” runs so deep it seems to stop time. This tragic, mournful arrangement of “Solitude” makes the song sound written for Scott, again with Willis plus Grïgoire Maret on harmonica blues. Guitarist Joe Beck also offers soulful counterpart, jazzing up the feel to the opening “Moonglow,” in which Scott languidly bathes just behind the beat, and the nattily swinging “I Thought About You.”
Track Listing: Moon Glow; Since I Fell For You; Those Who Were; Yesterday; How Long Has This Been Going
On?; I Thought About You; Time On My Hands (You In My Arms); If I Should Lose You; Solitude;
We?ll Be Together Again.
Personnel: Jimmy Scott, vocals; Joe Beck, guitar; Hank Crawford, alto sax; Eric Alexander, Bob Kindred, David
?Fathead? Newman, tenor sax; Lew Soloff, trumpet; Larry Willis, Cyrus Chestnut, Michael Kanen,
piano; George Mraz, bass; Grady Tate, Lewis Nash, Clarence Penn, drums; Gregoire Maret,
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.