Song for Amy
Note to liner note writers: If you want readers to notice a trumpet player's originality, don't start the notes by mentioning the artist's adoration of Miles Davis. It makes readers feel like they're being whacked with the obvious stick and doesn't bode well for what they're about to hear. Note to readers: Don't let the notes taint your perception of Song for Amy (Steeplechase), the recording debut of Dave Scott's quintet. True, the seven Scott originals bear more than a passing similarity to mid-1960s Davis albums, due to the way the leader blends with Rich Perry's pensive, Shorter-esque solos and the tendency of the rhythm section (pianist Gary Versace, bassist John Hebert, drummer Jeff Williams) to bend and stretch the tempos between solos. But Scott, who also leads a co-op quintet with tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby and has played in the big bands of Clark Terry and Tom Harrell, is using a sturdy template to introduce his own ideas. Tracks like "Vindaloo" and the exciting, 13-minute "Profound Dilution" prove that this band should be feted for its originality and cohesion.