(Jimmy Scott Bio)
The Jazz Expressions
(The Jazz Expressions Website)
Jimmy Scott, Vocals
Hilliard Greene, Bass
Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax, Drums
Aaron Graves, Piano
TK Blue, Saxophone
At Iridium Jazz Club
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St, NYC
Kevin Williams, Manager
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
February 9, 2006
Jazz Promo Notes: “Jimmy Scott, a former Lionel Hampton vocalist, snared a couple of R&B hits in the 50’s, but spent much of his time in obscurity, until rediscovered in the early 80’s where he became a mainstay on the New York club scene. His comeback- which included being hired by David Lynch to croon “Under The Sycamore Tree” in the final episode of Twin Peaks- led to a major recording contract with Sire/Warner Bros. Records and three critically acclaimed albums. To his legion of fans, like Madonna, who said he is the only vocalist who can make her cry, he is like no other!”
”Billie Holiday often singled out Jimmy Scott as her favorite singer, and over the course of a long, circuitous career that dates back to his 1949 jukebox hit "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" (with Lionel Hampton's big band), and a series of 1950s-'60s recordings for the Roost, Coral, Brunswick, and Savoy labels, Scott achieved notoriety as an R&B singer and pop balladeer. However, Scott himself took a much broader view of his talents and always considered himself a jazz singer as well, a point driven home convincingly on his latest Milestone recital, Moon Glow. "The standard book was like college for me," he insists. "These were the kinds of songs I always wanted to record, but one has to do many kinds of things in show business," he adds ruefully yet without rancor. "It makes all the difference in the world to work with a sympathetic producer, who's able to assemble compatible musicians and lets us do our thing."
“After a long climb, Jimmy Scott has finally achieved the stardom he deserves. He's established a dedicated international audience through triumphant tours of Europe and Japan; he's been the featured subject of a Bravo Profiles television special and of an in-depth biography by award-winning author David Ritz (Faith in Time: The Jazz Life of Jimmy Scott, from Da Capo Press). Now, with Moon Glow, Jimmy Scott fleshes out a persuasive portrait of his jazz mastery and storytelling.” (JazzPromo@earthlink.net Notes)
Jimmy Scott is as strong and sensational as ever, and his vocals tonight were poignant, possessed, and passionate. To begin the second set on opening night of Jimmy Scott and his band, also known as The Jazz Expressions, TK Blue took a vibrant and resonant lead on his soaring saxophone. Hilliard Greene on bass and Aaron Graves on piano gave blended support. The backup trio built in volume and vivacity as TK’s showcased work unfolded. Soon Graves took the lead, with a new interpretation of the theme, bluesy and nuanced to a New Orleans melody. When Greene added a staccato solo, singable and moody, Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax almost finished this opening piece that he had composed, as he “upped” the percussion. Yet, it was TK’s limelight, and he included a signature Jazz expressions theme in Blues 4 Siboney.
When Jimmy Scott appeared, walking slowly but exuding warmth and confidence, he began singing even before settling into the stool that was waiting onstage. Although slight in stature, Scott is powerful in persona, and All of Me rang royally through the rafters of Iridium. With a full swing beat, Scott rocked the Club. Switching suddenly to sweet and gentle, Scott blissfully belted “I’ve Got It Bad, and That Ain’t Good”. His clear, characteristically high vocals vibrated with verve. This was the definition of “crooning”, and the audience was transported to another era of more innocent emotion. Love and loss rang true with TK’s soulful sax.
Someone to Watch Over Me showcased Greene, and his solo was deep and dark, in contrast to Scott’s sharp lyrics. Pennies from Heaven brought a second showcase for TK, as his sax wailed through the Club with abandon. Scott ended this song with a fused band finale. Invocation, an Aaron Graves composition, opened a band interlude, as Scott took a break, and TK switched from tenor to soprano sax. A clavé rhythm ensued, thanks to Broadnax, and I envisioned a sensual rumba. The next Jazz Expressions showcased work found Greene in the lead, again with a hint of Broadnax’ clever clavé.
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child was Scott’s closing song, so affected and filled with angst. One vowel at a time rang through the Club, as the lyrics spilled out, “…This world is lonely and cold…”, in a combination of crying and singing. After a quick rendition of Happy Birthday to a fan in the audience, Scott’s encore was I Cried for You. Greene seized the melody, on the finale of Scott’s sensitive lyrics.
Kudos to Jimmy Scott, and kudos to The Jazz Expressions for a rare night at Iridium Jazz Club. You can check Iridium’s Website for current and upcoming events.
T. K. Blue, Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax, Hilliard Greene, Aaron Graves at Leisure, Post-Jazz, at Iridium Jazz Club.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower