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Rhoda Scott: Encore, Encore, Encore

This album by organist and singer Rhoda Scott and drummer Lucien Dobat resembles a hard-cooking club set. For American audiences, Scott-New Jersey native, Manhattan School of Music graduate, student of Nadia Boulanger and Paris resident since 1968-may be a new and pleasing discovery. Based on this session, she could capably hold her own in a cutting contest among top jazz organists.

Scott walks the bass pedals barefooted, and she builds from chorus to chorus with a sure sense of direction and climax. Her powerhouse arsenal includes big, washing glisses; big-band-like block chords; and an array of tonal stops. Dobat aids with a strong backbeat and well-placed kicks.

On the opener, “Mack the Knife,” they work a steady, swinging groove through several key changes. Three tunes later comes a vocal, “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me,” in a voice reminiscent of Jimmy Scott. “Do What’cha Gotta Do,” a catchy, easy-swinging Basielike original, appears down the line. “If I Should Lose You” moves along at in impressive clip. Scott has a distinctive approach to each tune; one might call it an arranger’s touch and an entertainer’s sense of pacing. Encore… is a most enjoyable album.

Originally Published