Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Marilyn Scott: Every Time We Say Goodbye

Having listened to Marilyn Scott since the late ’80s, the realization finally dawned that she closely resembles Doris Day. Though several shades cloudier and unquestionably more intuitively jazz-savvy, Scott echoes Day’s round, full tones, her immaculate enunciation, that rare ability to fully sell a lyric by underplaying it, and the beguiling dichotomy of simultaneous warm and cool. And, again like Day, she makes it all seem too easy, resulting in far less praise than she deserves.

Day, in her day, was impressively prolific. So, too, is Scott. Over the past two decades, she’s delivered a dozen consistently fine albums. Several have fared well on the jazz charts. By rights hers should, at least within jazz circles, be nearly as recognizable a name as Krall or Reeves, yet remains far enough off the national radar that she had to travel to Japan to produce this latest platter of standards. Fortunately, she crossed the Pacific with a top-notch assortment of accompanists in tow, including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Gerald Cannon, drummer Willie Jones III and, most notably, Ken Peplowski, whose tenor sax and clarinet work is like ermine and pearls accenting couture elegance. And, mixed among crystalline readings of “Lonely Town,” “Somewhere,” “Cry Me a River,” “Detour Ahead” and the title track are some mighty imaginative readings.

Choicest among them: the kindling of a light samba beneath “I Got Lost in His Arms”; a cleverly reconstructed “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” that, perhaps for the first time, accurately captures the lyric’s sense of hard-won freedom; an “Autumn in New York” imbued with the merest hint of impending chill; and an urgent “April in Paris” heated by the delicious possibility of deep, dark sin.

Originally Published