Click for Ann Arbor, Michigan Forecast
Thursday May 25, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Jimmy Scott

 

continued

phrases in midair by compressing them unexpectedly, and in a dozen other ways performs a musical high-wire act. His diction is way beyond merely clear: he has a choice of attacks for each consonant, to be deployed in the service of insight into a song's text.

So there's daredeviltry, and a definite exotic component. But Scott's music is never flashy, and it fits in fine at New York's supper clubs. His repertoire is the one that prevailed during the first phase of his career in the 1940s and 1950s: Gershwin, some Rodgers and Hart, and, more unusually, some intensely felt spirituals. Scott's virtuosity is of the precise kind, executed quietly, with a tone of vulnerability that expresses itself in delicacy and detail.

Those qualities have kept Scott's art not only viable but consistently intensifying as he enters his seventh decade of performing. Born in 1925, he started out in Lionel Hampton's big band. About five feet tall, he was known as Little Jimmy Scott. One of his early champions was Ray Charles, who himself began his career with a quiet, high-pitched, rather mysterious kind of vocal jazz. Scott recorded several now hard-to-find albums for the Savoy, Tangerine, and Atlantic labels and then dropped out of sight for a while, working as an elevator operator in his native Cleveland. He resurfaced in the 1990s, providing his distinctive sound for various alternative rock artists and releasing solo albums. His voice has lost the capacity for silvery stretches of vibrato, but that was only one of its many sounds to begin with, and now, at age eighty-two, he has a burnished, uncannily soulful instrument that seems to exist in its own special realm.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

Restaurants with Delivery Available
A clickable zoomable map
Pauline Health
An affordable clinic moves and grows
Eve Silberman
Make America Great Again, by Tim Athan
Business in Chelsea
Nightspots: Tap Room
Laura Hulthen Thomas
Unexpected turns
Keith Taylor
Storm-Water Solutions
The city plans to spend $34 million over the next six years to fix its flooding problems.
James Leonard
Bourbon Latte at Milan Coffee Works
Quick bite: May 2017
Sally Mitani
Before Ann Arbor
The U-M in Detroit
Michael Betzold
Brew & Chew
A wine store reinvented at Plymouth Mall
Patti Smith
Grieve Well Kite Festival June 17th 2017
Greek Festival June 9-11, 2017
Grillin' 2017 June 11th, 3-8pm - Ann Arbor MI