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Scott, Marilyn: Standard Blue

Heavy on the blues, heavy on the atmosphere, heavy on the moody jazz, Marilyn Scott returns with an album that not only highlights her voice, but which also turns the focus on a set of songs so poised, it's as though they make time stand still. Featuring a Scott original alongside classics by Billy Strayhorn, Fats Waller and others, all reworked into a languid, lusciously lazy and layered illustration of patience over indulgence and poise over impetuousness, this album is a smooth run from start to finish. The lady herself dominates, while leaving a band, featuring talent such as Gary Novak (drums), Michael Landau (guitar), Russell Ferrante (keyboards), Jimmy Haslip (bass) and Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), more than enough room to breathe a natural life into proceedings.

Capable of injecting a huge amount of force into her easy, natural delivery, for those who haven't caught this singer on any of her previous eleven outings, the power and, more importantly, poise of what Scott provides will take the breath away. There's no getting away from this album being a laid back affair, but more so in mood and tone than the performances and results. The ambling, but pointed "Speak Low", where the vocal carries a real emotional connection, or more obviously melancholy "I Wouldn't Change It", perfect examples of the juxtaposition provided throughout. The latter is the composition penned by Scott - alongside Ferrante - and good though everything on this album is, it would have been extremely interesting to hear more of their own material. The positively poppin' "The Joint Is Jumpin'" closes the album out, a sudden injection of upbeat energy delivered to what has up to this point been a decidedly sedate set, and as with the new cut, it would have been a joy to hear more in this style included on the album.

Other than the Scott/Ferrante composition, not one song on this album is less than sixty years old, but with the new life each and every one is given here, the results are amazingly fresh and vibrant. With Scott's unmistakable voice leading from the front, Standard Blue isn't standard at all. Instead it's a jazzy blues take on life and while the mood remains the same across the whole album, there's no denying the class on show.


Track Listing
1. Willow Weep for Me
2. Speak Low
3. A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing
4. Never Let Me Go
5. Day Dream
6. Blue Prelude
7. I Wouldn't Change It
8. East of the Sun
9. I've Got It Bad and That Ain't Good
10. The Joint Is Jumpin'

Added: June 17th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Standard Blue at CD Baby
Hits: 297
Language: english

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