Tony Scott – A Jazz Life – Kind of Blue DVD + CD

by | Mar 13, 2007 | CD+DVD | 0 comments

Tony Scott – A Jazz Life – Kind of Blue DVD + CD KOB 10015, CD=51:06, DVD=20:00 *****:

(Tony Scott, clarinet/vocals/piano; Shane Endsley, trumpet; Ben Wendel, tenor sax; Adam Benjamin, acoustic piano & Rhodes; Raveh Rastegar, acoustic bass; Nate Wood, drums)

Tony Scott is a jazz figure who has certainly paid his dues. Now living in Italy, where this session was recorded, he was in on the beginnings of bebop, played with Claude Thornhill, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday. He mixed cool and hot, and was known for his lyricism and romanticism.  He probably started the New Age music business with his early album Music for Zen Meditation, followed by Music for Yoga Meditation.

I would start with the fun DVD, which was shot during the recording session for the album.  Although I found it disconcerting to see how each of the players is confined in their own little soundproofed cubbyhole in the studio with headphones – separate from real interaction with one another – it shows the clarinet master’s fantastic chops on his instrument.  He once complained that no other clarinetists were copying his style, and was told “That’s because you’re too difficult to copy.”  And that’s the truth – Scott has a completely different touch on his licorice stick than any other clarinetist you may have heard. Aside from two of his own compositions, the CD is mostly standards, but Scott’s interpretations are far from standard.

The big surprise are his blues vocals, which also sound like no other blues singer you have ever heard, but really work. I’m not heavily into blues, and I loved ’em. His spoken version of Strayhorn’s Lush Life is very involving. Interspersed during the DVD are little talking-head observations from the venerable Scott – looking like Mr. Natural or Moondog with his big white beard, and a bit like Dr. John with his green beret-type hat. Nat Hentoff wrote the liner notes, and he points out how Scott shatters the myth about jazz being a young man’s game. Kind of Blue is a very promising new jazz label with some great stuff lined up.

TrackList of CD: Low, down, dirty, good-for-nothing blues; Caravan; Come Sunday; Summertime; Satin Doll; Nina’s Dance; ‘Round Midnight; You don’t know what love is; Body and Soul; Night in Tunisia; Lush Life.

 – John Henry

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01