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Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
Music Reviews
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

Jimmy Scott Quartet

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 30, 2003
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St
New York, NY 10019

About the Author:

Jimmy Scott Quartet

Jimmy Scott, Vocals
Hilliard Greene, Bass
Dwayne Broadnax, Drums
Jon Regen, Piano
T K Blue, Saxophone

At Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St, NYC
(See Other Iridium Reviews)

Media Contact: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
September 30, 2003

Jazz Promo Notes: "Jimmy Scott, a former Lionel Hampton vocalist, snared a couple of R&B hits in the 50's, but spent much of his time in obscurity, until rediscovered in the early 80's where he became a mainstay on the New York club scene. His comeback- which included being hired by David Lynch to croon "Under The Sycamore Tree" in the final episode of Twin Peaks- led to a major recording contract with Sire/Warner Bros. Records and three critically acclaimed albums. To his legion of fans, like Madonna, who said he is the only vocalist who can make her cry, he is like no other!"

"Billie Holiday often singled out Jimmy Scott as her favorite singer, and over the course of a long, circuitous career that dates back to his 1949 jukebox hit "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" (with Lionel Hampton's big band), and a series of 1950s-'60s recordings for the Roost, Coral, Brunswick, and Savoy labels, Scott achieved notoriety as an R&B singer and pop balladeer. However, Scott himself took a much broader view of his talents and always considered himself a jazz singer as well, a point driven home convincingly on his latest Milestone recital, Moon Glow. "The standard book was like college for me," he insists. "These were the kinds of songs I always wanted to record, but one has to do many kinds of things in show business," he adds ruefully yet without rancor. "It makes all the difference in the world to work with a sympathetic producer, who's able to assemble compatible musicians and lets us do our thing."

"After a long climb, Jimmy Scott has finally achieved the stardom he deserves. He's established a dedicated international audience through triumphant tours of Europe and Japan; he's been the featured subject of a Bravo Profiles television special and of an in-depth biography by award-winning author David Ritz (Faith in Time: The Jazz Life of Jimmy Scott, from Da Capo Press). Now, with Moon Glow, Jimmy Scott fleshes out a persuasive portrait of his jazz mastery and storytelling."

This was the second time I had heard Jimmy Scott, and, I must admit, he is definitely growing on me, as he has grown on his enormous, worldwide fan base and his enormous CD audience list. The first piece, Harold's Theme, by TK Blue, was all instrumental, with Hilliard Greene, a bassist to watch (See Hilliard Greene CD Review), in full control onstage, leading the highly skilled TK Blue, on saxophone, Dwayne Broadnax on drums, and Jon Regen on piano. TK is sexy and sophisticated, and Hilliard entices full volume from his bass, as his entire body rocks with rhythm. Jon's piano was strong and served up delicious sounds. But, Hilliard again assumed the lead and bent adoringly over his prominent bass. TK's sax has exciting trills, and he ended this song in a duet with Hilliard's bow.

As the band played Summertime, Jimmy Scott entered, singing Blue Skies. This man was now in full control, and the audience knew he was playing. Jimmy Scott is an impish figure, barely reaching the microphone, apparently with one of the highest pitched male vocalization's ever to be heard in Jazz or Cabaret, and his audience was mesmerized. (I would like to add that he is also one of the most genuinely warm and gracious Jazz stars, whom I have met.) In Blue Skies, TK Blue injected more playful effects, as his sax rose to blazing volume, within feet of a saxophone super star in the audience, James Carter (See Django Reinhardt Festival, Autumn, 2002).

Falling In Love Is Wonderful was crooned in the highest pitch, but with masculine and melancholy intonations. Jon's piano assisted with soulful torch-like passages in a warm blend of mood and motif. Hilliard led into Embraceable You, as Jimmy Scott, in a style, reminiscent of Billy Holiday, wooed his audience and encouraged them to feel romantic and warm. He ended this piece with Dwayne's muffled percussion. If You Only Knew was opened by Jimmy Scott and then fully performed by the band, also known as The Jazz Expressions.

The following piece, Left to Right, by Jon Regen, was instrumental, with a Salsa, clave beat. TK opened up his saxophone in total abandon, while Hilliard, an inspiring musical leader, backed up and sometimes led on his dynamic bass. Jon also showed his superlative skills here with strong chords and improvisation. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child, a persistent audience request, brought Jimmy back onstage. He was surreal and poignant in this song of pathos and despair. In I Cried for You, Jimmy Scott stood before his fans and switched leads with Jon and Hilliard in dynamic twists and turns. Dwayne showcased in a brief, but bouncing, percussive solo, and Jimmy Scott completed this song with soulful and sorrowful feelings in a bluesy, charismatic finale. I look forward tremendously to a third occasion in, hopefully, the near future to hear Jimmy Scott and his musicians, The Jazz Expressions, in a repeat performance. As far as I'm concerned, they can sing and play all of tonight's pieces, and the event will be wonderful and completely worthwhile. Of course, their repertoire is vast and significant.

If you're a Jazz Fan or Jazz Musician, looking for a hotel in New York or Chicago, check out the reasonably priced, clean and comfortable Fitzpatrick Hotels, and eat a traditional Irish Breakfast before you check out, or buy a drink at the Fitzpatrick Hotel Pub, when you check in!

T K Blue and Hilliard Greene at Leisure (See Hilliard Greene Article)
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Jimmy Scott with Jeanie
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Enzo Capua and Hilliard Greene
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

James Carter, Guest (See Django Reinhardt Review)
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

T K Blue and Jon Regen at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

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