the new CD by vocalist Jimmy Scott has a lot of his trademarks, which in the 40’s and the 50’s, made him an adored jazz balladeer. Moon Glow
is his fourth CD for Milestone Records. Scott performs 10 well-known jazz classics. Like the late vocalists Joe Williams and Billy Eckstine, Scott’s style is relaxed, and he is best at singing ballads. Many jazz vocalists can sing ballads, but Scott gets down to the marrow. He savors every lyric.
However, on his other recordings, particularly Mood Indigo
Scott has experienced difficulty keeping his voice strong, and Moon Glow
is no exception. This CD shows Scott at his best and at his worst.
Scott struggles onTime On My Hands (You in My Arms)
. He sounds as if he is in pain. He duets with pianist Larry Willis on Those Who Were
. The duet is noteworthy because Scott make the listeners feel isolated as if he tailored the song to address their concerns and emotions. Moreover, Willis compliments him.
However, on Solitude
they seem uncomfortable with each other. If you listened to Etta James’ version of Solitude
on her CD Blue Gardenia
, you may find Scott’s rendering difficult to digest. Instead of his voice remaining stout it withers. Scott’s shortcomings are minor, nevertheless. Overall he lives up to his reputation. His take on Those Who Were
is enough to excuse the shortcomings.
Scott’s unconventional use of his instrumentalist to buttress his voice is also worth mentioning. On Yesterday
, for example, Gregoire Maret plays the harmonica. The harmonica doesn’t collide with the other instruments, or Scott’s voice, which on this track is robust. In stead, of colliding it blends in. Pianist Cyrus Chestnut and saxophonist Hank Crawford on How Long Has This Been Going On
keep pace with Scott’s attention to the nuances of the song.
Although Scott’s voice withers on a few tracks
Moon Glow is an improvement from his other releases for Milestone Records.