All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Marilyn Scott: Standard Blue

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
With an album title like this, some may be expecting boilerplate jazz that hews closely to some sort of straight-and-narrow musical orthodoxy. That, however, isn't what you get from vocalist Marilyn Scott. While it's true that Standard Blue is filled with familiar titles, these performances never sound platitudinous.

Scott paints standards with a cool-headed attitude, exhibiting a strong appreciation for dialed- down fusion, straight ahead sounds, semi-smooth aesthetics, blues feeling, and, most importantly, hybridization. From the first moments of the opener—a "Willow Weep For Me" that subscribes to a stylistic thread that could best be described as ambient neo-soul jazz—it's clear that this isn't your run-of-the-mill offering. As the album moves along, Scott continues to captivate with quiet energy. But that's not to say she doesn't exhibit range or vary her approach at different points. Performances like "Speak Low," a hip scene that's introduced with an understated touch of neo-noir before picking up a taste for swing and sass, and "Blue Prelude," which finds Scott reveling in ultramarine waters, demonstrate that she knows how to turn up the heat when needed. And if anybody remains skeptical after hearing those numbers, they need only listen to her rollicking farewell—"The Joint Is Jumpin,'" with the Perri Sisters joining her on vocals—to have those doubts washed away. Scott may often present with a form of equanimity, but there's a smoldering side to her art that brings everything into balance and perspective. Her voice could best be described as icy hot.

While Scott remains the rightful central figure in these songs, much of the credit for the success of this music has to go to keyboardist-arranger Russell Ferrante. He coats the walls of each song with attractively complex and glossy patinas that perfectly support Scott's vocals. Moreover, he managed to put together a series of arrangements that successfully walk the dividing line(s) between several stylistic sub-categories without ever betraying any of them. An ace crew that includes drummer Gary Novak, guitarist Michael Landau, and bassist Jimmy Haslip helps to bring his work to life with the perfect blend of sophistication and soulfulness.

With great material, winning arrangements, a strong stable of collaborators, and fine vocal work, all of the bases seem to be covered here. Everything clearly fell into place for Standard Blue. It's a fine addition to Scott's discography and, quite possibly, her strongest date yet.

Track Listing: Willow Weep for Me; Speak Low; A Flower is a Lovesome Thing; Never Let Me Go; Day Dream; Blue Prelude; I Wouldn’t Change It; East of the Sun; I’ve Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good; The Joint is Jumpin’

Personnel: Marilyn Scott: vocals; Gary Novak: drums; Michael Landau: guitar; Russell Ferrante: keyboards; Jimmy Haslip: bass; Bob Mintzer: bass clarinet; Ambrose Akinmusire: trumpet. Produced by Jimmy Haslip, Erik Zobler and Marilyn Scott

Title: Standard Blue | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Prana Entertainment

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Every Time We Say Goodbye

Every Time We Say Goodbye

Marilyn Scott
Every Time We Say Goodbye

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Standard Blue

Standard Blue

Prana Entertainment
2017

buy
Get Christmas Started!

Get Christmas Started!

Prana Entertainment
2014

buy
Every Time We Say Goodbye

Every Time We Say...

Venus Records
2008

buy
Innocent Of Nothing

Innocent Of Nothing

Prana Entertainment
2006

buy
Handpicked

Handpicked

Prana Entertainment
2006

buy
Handpicked

Handpicked

Prana Entertainment
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Two Hands To Tango" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands To Tango
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 15, 2018
Read "Live from Stern Grove Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live from Stern Grove Festival
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "Two in a Box" CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read "Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32" CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Aleka" CD/LP/Track Review Aleka
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Postcard Collection" CD/LP/Track Review Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018