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

Tony Scott: A Jazz Life

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Clarinetist Tony Scott was never much of a critical favorite, and for his last few decades he didn’t record much either. Plus, he had been living in Italy, far from the centers of jazz, and hadn’t gotten much attention. However, his new disc deserves to be heard…by everyone.

A Jazz Life is full of vitality. It’s difficult to reconcile the music with the fact that Scott was 84 when it was recorded in February 2006. (Scott died this March.) It’s bookended with vocal performances, and, man, are they something. Scott had a deep, gravelly voice, and he talks and scats through his “Low, Down, Dirty, Good for Nothing Blues,” which is as fine a blues as you’ll hear. His clarinet shrieks and wails like a sax through a delicious arrangement of “Caravan,” and it’s soft and breathy on another Duke classic, “Come Sunday.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.