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Jimmy Scott: The Savoy Years and More

No male jazz or pop singer, not even Ray Charles drowning in his own tears or Frank Sinatra in the wee small hours, has expressed heartache as movingly as Little Jimmy Scott. After joining Lionel Hampton’s band in 1948, the diminutive balladeer hovered at the margins of the music business for over four decades before starting to receive the recognition he deserves in the ’90s. Although his expressiveness remains undiminished, his cracked, quavery voice makes listening to more than one or two tracks of his recent CDs a daunting experience.

The Savoy Years and More, a three-disc collection, contains 66 sides Scott cut for that label and for Royal Roost between 1952 and 1975. It resurrects considerable material unfamiliar to all but the singer’s most passionate devotees-15 tracks previously issued only as singles and eight hitherto unreleased masters.

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