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Up until now the only Tony Scott currently available was two albums intended as background music for meditation, neither pointing to the jazz leanings of a artist who cut his teeth with Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Carter, to name just two. This reissue of a 1967 Verve album amply documents Scott’s interest in Middle Eastern music, featuring a handful of tracks with exotic instrumentation such as the oud and sitar, and Scott approaching the timbre of the soprano saxophone in his soloing.
While there’s a definite whiff of patchouli permeating these tracks, they are made all the more enjoyable by intermixing interpretations of standards with a more conventional instrumentation, yet there’s still a bit of adventurousness even then. Although “My Funny Valentine” and “Satin Doll” are given a fairly conventional treatment, a duet with Richard David on “Sophisticated Lady” is all angular riffs and slippery bass, while “Brother Can You Spare A Dime?” is an intimate reading with sparse backing. Scott even shows off his bluesy chops on “A Homage To Charlie Parker.” While previous reissues found Scott exploring his inner chakra, this session presents a more multifaceted player, a restless experimenter along the lines of Jimmy Giuffre, who used his chosen instrument in ways that others never did.
While Scott isn’t entirely successful in mixing his various interests into a cohesive whole, he does assert that there’s more of his unissued work that deserves a listen. Here’s hoping that this reissue paves the way for more from this neglected artist.
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song. He captured everyone's attention and got us all up on our feet dancing alongside him to this incredible music we call jazz.