175

Boz Scaggs: Standards Volume I: But Beautiful

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Boz Scaggs: Standards Volume I: But Beautiful On this collection of genuine pop standards – the Gershwin’s “How Long Has This Been Going On,” Ellington’s “Sophisticated Lady,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” from Rodgers/Hart, and more – Scaggs saunters through spare, smoky nightclub arrangements in his understated, comfortable voice, supported by a quartet led by pianist Paul Nagel, who also did all the arrangements. Nagel approximates the touch and sound of Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett’s longtime pianist. The comparison ends there.

Make no mistake, there’s nothing awful about this package: Scaggs’ voice, the arrangements, and the instrumentation are all pleasant enough. Every song is cushioned comfortably in Scaggs’ warm range, and is gracefully phrased; his timing in “How Long Has This Been Going On,” for example, suggests Ben Webster curling up with a ballad (a feeling echoed in the saxophone solo by Eric Crystal).

But that’s just it – but beautiful is never much more than ‘pleasant enough.’ The instrumental solos, such as Crystal’s mainstream saxophone soul in the aeroglide “Never Let Me Go,” are often more rewarding than Scaggs’ vocal verses. but beautiful is sort of like the non- alcoholic equivalent of a cocktail party, with all of the trappings and flavors and none of the intoxication. There may be a great album of jazz/pop standards in Scaggs, who has obvious taste in material and knows his way around a song. But this is not it.


Track Listing: What

Personnel: Boz Scaggs, vocals; Paul Nagel, piano and arrangements; Eric Crystal, saxophone; John Shifflett, bass; Jason Lewis, drums.

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Gray Cat | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Wolf Valley" CD/LP/Track Review Wolf Valley
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 18, 2016
Read "Under the Influence" CD/LP/Track Review Under the Influence
by Doug Collette
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Moving Still" CD/LP/Track Review Moving Still
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!