On a swing through town, Basie tenor man Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (1922-86) heard Scott and asked her to join his band. They recorded prolifically together - as co-leaders - and released a hugely popular series of "Cookbook" records for Prestige during the late 1950s.
Shirley launched her solo career in 1958, recording 23 albums for Prestige (1958-64), 10 for Impulse (1963-68), three for Atlantic (1968-70), three for Cadet (1971-73), one in 1974 for Strata East, two for Muse (1989-91) and three for Candid (1991-92).
She was married to the late, great tenor sax player Stanley Turrentine (1961-71) and the two made some of their finest music - together - for the Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse and Atlantic labels.
Her playing consistently possessed one of the most graceful and lyrical touches applied to the bulky B-3. But it was her deeply-felt understanding of the blues and gospel that made her playing most remarkable.
Shirley Scott resided in Philadelphia up until her death in early 2002. She occasionally performed locally (on piano, mostly) and was musical director of Bill Cosby's short-lived 1992 show You Bet Your Life. She successfully won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against a diet-drug company in 2000 and had not performed in public for about five years before her untimely death in early 2002.
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