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Jazz - Released January 1, 1992 | Warner Jazz

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The recording history of Little Jimmy Scott is peppered with long hiatuses from the studio. He was absent for a period of seven years from 1962 to 1969 and then for more than 15 years from 1975 to 1990. Bordering on singing in the range of a counter tenor, Scott brings a distinctive, immediately recognizable sound and sensitivity to material he sings. It is hard to find any other vocalist, other than Billie Holiday, who matches Scott's depth of emotion that he applies to the classic standards he favors. All the Way was recorded more than 40 years after Scott made his first album for Roost. Over those years, even with his long absences, he has been able to command the services of top of the line musicians. He is one of those rare vocalists that jazz musicians like to be on the stage or in the studio with. And this album is no exception, featuring an all-star lineup that includes Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Grady Tate on rhythm. David "Fathead" Newman's soulful sax on such cuts as "All the Way" compliments Scott's delivery perfectly. Like Scott, Newman leaves abundant room between the measures to allow the song to breathe, the listeners to gain the full flavor of what he has played and to anticipate what's to follow in a second or two. On such tunes as "Angel Eyes" and "At Last," Scott's delivery goes beyond mere poignancy, and moves close to reverence, such respect he has for the classics he has put in the song list. This is good stuff. Strings magically appear on some tracks. But they are done tastefully and don't get in the way. Jimmy McDonough's knowledgeable highlights of Scott's career are a welcome added attraction. ~ Dave Nathan

Vocal Jazz - Released January 27, 2017 | Eden River Records

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Jazz - Released February 1, 2017 | Dreyfus Jazz

After venturing into the rock and soul catalog with renditions of Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, and the Talking Heads songs, Little Jimmy Scott really digs here with a program made up almost entirely by pop hits from the last three decades. Due in part to the insight of producers Gerry McCarthy and Dale Ashley, Scott tackles contemporary material that, in its elegance, jazz overtones, and passion, is perfectly suited to his special brand of vocal savvy and knack for the great standards. Of course, he could probably cover almost any song and transform it into something unique, which is what he often does here. With his gentle pacing, vulnerable-sounding yet powerful soprano, and unerring sense of dynamics, Scott entirely refashions classics like Bryan Ferry's "Slave to Love," Elton John and Bernie Taupin's "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word," and the movie theme "The Crying Game." And while maybe not wrought anew, his versions of John Lennon's "Jealous Guy," Elvis Costello's "Almost Blue," and Prince's "Nothing Compares 2 U" are still stunning. He even gives Simply Red's Mick Hucknell a few needed lessons in vocal phrasing with an in-the-pocket rendition of the title track. Better to showcase Scott's singular voice, the arrangers wisely supply him with an unobtrusive and classy backdrop punctuated with subtle, yet keen solo breaks. An amazing set by one of the best singers around. ~ Stephen Cook

Jazz - Released July 8, 1994 | Warner Jazz

Vocal jazz legend Jimmy Scott's amazing 1992 comeback, after decades of obscurity, All the Way, was rapturously received by critics and fans, but proved unprofitable for his record label. For the follow-up, Sire authorized a much smaller budget, sending the singer into the studio with just a handful of sidemen and what seemed to be a curious choice as producer: Mitchell Froom, best-known for his work with rockers like Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello. But the results of the sessions -- recorded in New York City during a blizzard -- come closer, in their fashion, than All the Way to capturing the pain that's at the heart of Scott's one-of-a-kind instrument. His abnormally high, nearly feminine vocals (the result of a rare disorder called Kallmann's Syndrome, which arrests development permanently during puberty) are even more dominant than usual on this program of standards; without the strings of the previous album, nothing gets between Scott and the sadness of songs like "It's The Talk of the Town" and "I'm Through With Love", both reclaimed from his brief '50s heyday. Milt Jackson's vibes drift through the tunes like snowfall, while the rest of the playing is so tight and sympathetic as to be invisible. It might not be Scott's finest overall work -- he was 68 at the time of this recording, and his pipes and pitch aren't quite what they were -- yet as a showcase for his haunted heart, this is exactly what many fans had long been dreaming of. ~ Dan LeRoy

Vocal Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Concord Records


Alternative & Indie - Released October 18, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic


Jazz - Released September 20, 1996 | Warner Jazz

More than 70 years old when he recorded this album, Jimmy Scott is a little heavier of voice than he was when he started his career (about 50 years before this album was cut). However, his continues to be a readily distinguishable instrument. A childhood disease called Kallman's Syndrome, which prevents the voice from breaking, left Scott as a soprano. His pure voice, his tender way of dealing with a ballad, as well as an ability to swing, allowed him to perform with some of the jazz greats, including Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Richard Davis, Billy Cobham, Junior Mance, and Ron Carter. But, despite his long career, Scott has never achieved great notoriety. Except for a Grammy nomination in 1991, he's been almost a cult figure. On this album for Warner Brothers, Scott is asked to bring to bear all the pathos his voice is capable of delivering (and it is considerable) and apply it to a set of gospel tunes. This is not the driving type of gospel music usually associated with traditional black churches. Rather, it is very subdued and somber, including not only traditional but contemporary material, like Bob Dylan's "When He Returns" and Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready." Scott's voice wavers from time to time, but his emotional timbre and vocal sincerity never falter. Jacky Terrasson's appropriately somber piano lends support (Terrasson is also credited with the arrangements). Percussionist Joseph Bonadio and bass player Hilliard Greene are barely audible, drowned out by voice and piano. This album is for devotees of either this kind of music or of Jimmy Scott. ~ Dave Nathan

Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Milestone

There have been few 75-year-old vocalists working in any popular music style that sounded as good as Scott did on this session from late 2000, aided by contributions from top players like Joe Beck (guitar) and Grady Tate (drums). Scott loves those sentimental songs, and this set is full of standards in that vein, from the title track and "Pennies From Heaven" to "P.S. I Love You" (the Jenkins-Mercer composition, not the Beatles song) and "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." For the most part the arrangements are appropriately small-scale, letting Scott's voice hog the foreground and squeeze plenty of nuances from his sad vibrato. "Over the Rainbow" itself suffers from an excessive wash of vibes, but fortunately that's not typical of most of the set, which just does toe the right side of gushing emotion. It is a refreshing change of pace, though, when a trace of somber darkness is introduced on the foreboding, doomy arrangement of "Strange Fruit," which benefits from a guest shot by David "Fathead" Newman on tenor sax. ~ Richie Unterberger

Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Milestone

Jimmy Scott (aka Little Jimmy Scott) is one of those singers who has never recognized a boundary between pop, jazz, and R&B. From his start in the late '40s, he's worked with musicians of various styles while keeping an open ear to anything of interest. Contemporary albums included songs by Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Simply Red, and other artists, but for Mood Indigo, Scott has gone back to the standards. Besides the title track, he sings "Without a Song," "Time After Time," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "How Deep Is the Ocean?" All undoubtedly old friends to Scott, which accounts for the warmth and depth of the performances. Scott also mixes up the arrangements, sometimes backed by a quartet with Hank Crawford and Cyrus Chestnut, but on two tracks accompanied only by a guitar. While suspicious listeners might think the world doesn't need yet another collection of standards, Mood Indigo should overcome such reservations. Far from being exhausted, these songs still have plenty to offer and Scott knows how to coax the best from them. Taken at a slow tempo, "Without a Song" becomes sad and wistful while Scott's slightly astringent vocal tone makes "Blue Skies" more bracing than usual. Full of such unassuming treasures, Mood Indigo shows a singer who hasn't yet run out of things to say. ~ Lang Thompson

Jazz - Released May 8, 2013 | JazzCutter


Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Concord Records

Milestone Profiles finds the singular vocalist Jimmy Scott performing in-studio with a stellar lineup of all-star guests, including saxophonist Eric Alexander, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, and others. Scott, once an obscure and forgotten singer from the '50s, was rediscovered in the '90s and has since released a steady flow of superb late-career albums that showcase his uniquely sanguine and emotionally riveting voice. Milestone Profiles is no exception, and performances here such as "Smile," "Darn That Dream," and "How Long Has This Been Going On?" easily stand up to the classics of his catalog. [Also included is a bonus disc of tracks from other Milestone artists, including Joe Henderson, Flora Purim, and others.] ~ Matt Collar

Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Savoy


Jazz - Released January 1, 2003 | Milestone


Jazz - Released May 4, 2018 | Blue Moon Recordings


Jazz - Released February 18, 2011 | SINETONE AMR


Vocal Jazz - Released December 16, 2014 | Christmas Dreams


Jazz - Released July 31, 2015 | Savoy

Released in 1955, Very Truly Yours was the first album that Jimmy Scott recorded for the Savoy label. After spending the better part of a decade singing in ensembles, first with Lionel Hampton and then with New Orleans bandleader Paul Gayten, Scott was poised to make a name for himself as a solo artist. These dozen songs, executed with a small jazz combo supporting him (including Charles Mingus on bass), find Scott in beautiful voice, confidently investing himself in well-chosen covers as well as some of his own great originals. From the opening number ("Imagination"), it's clear that you're hearing a rare and expressive voice. Here he sounds every bit as romantic and inventive as he continued to be decades later. ~ Rovi Staff

Vocal Jazz - Released June 14, 2013 | Jazz 2 Jazz Records


Jazz - Released May 7, 2002 | Savoy


Jazz - Released September 6, 2019 | Nightbird