Tony Scott – Lost Tapes (Germany 1957/Asia 1962) – JazzHaus 101 743, 68:09 [Distr. by Naxos] ****:
(Tony Scott – clarinet; Horst Jankowski – piano 1-7; Peter Witte – bass 1-7; Hermann Mutschler – drums 1-7; Conny Jackel – trumpet 7; Gerald Weinkopf – tenor saxophone 7; Helmut Brandt – baritone sax 7; Werner Baumgart – baritone sax 7; Mario Castalonga – trumpet 9-10; Colin Stuart – trumpet 9; Frankie Van Seca – guitar 9; Giancarlo Barigozzi – tenor sax 9,10; Silvano Salviati – piano 8-10; Sandro Paganucci – bass 8-10; Alfredo Bendini – drums 8-10)
Trying to find a musical classification for many jazz musicians is a mugs’ game at the best of times. All the more so for clarinetist Tony Scott as he really defied the norm. Although he came from a bebop tradition, he had two very different role models – Charlie Parker and Ben Webster. While his playing might sometimes have been confused with Buddy de Franco, his own sound was entirely different, having a thin almost squeaky tone, playing mostly in the upper register with little or no vibrato, he was an acquired taste. These Lost Tapes are a welcomed addition to the discography of an under-appreciated original.
This album can be divided in two sections both in terms of date, and the quality of the recording. The 1957 German sessions were a combination of SDR studio recording (tracks 1-5) and a live performance ( tracks 6-7) at Liederhalle Stuttgart all of which are exemplary in terms of content and quality. The 1962 dates were live recordings with tracks 8-10 done in Hong Kong with a portable recorder and a single mike as well as track 11 recorded in Singapore. This latter track is really quite iffy, with a very noticeable flutter on Scott’s clarinet playing.
With those caveats in mind, overall Scott’s playing is exceptional, filled with intricate ideas and extended solos of speed, potency, and energy. These traits are very much on display on the up-tempo numbers such as “Lover, Come Back To Me”, “Blues” and “There Will Never Be Another You”. That is not to say that Scott is a one-trick pony. His ballad approach favours a sensitivity, a cool disposition, and a reflective understanding of the material. All these characteristics come shining though on “Moonlight In Vermont”, “The Man I Love” and “You Go To My Head”. Although Scott dominates all these tracks, he does receive steadfast support from pianist Horst Jankowski who has a nimble and crisp approach to the keyboard.
In Jazz, The Rough Guide, Tony Scott’s playing was succinctly described as follows: “He played with immense power and expressiveness, and the whole jazz tradition was evident in his work”.
TrackList: Moonlight In Vermont; The Man I Love; Lover, Come Back To Me; You Go Yo My Head; Blues; A Night In Tunisia; There Will Never Be Another You; Blues For Charlie Parker; Hong Kong JazzClub Blues; All The Things You Are; Moonlight In Vermont
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