Monday, May 01, 2006

"Heaven is a divine place; I hope to go. Hell is ignorance of life; I hope I never qualify for. Everything's alright, baby."

glisten - Lucky 13 Pt. 3: Jimmy Scott

#5: Jimmy Scott - Very Truly Yours(personnel)

#6: Jimmy Scott - My Romance(personnel)

Who is Jimmy Scott?

He's the definitive voice of many a jazz standard; a sufferer of Kallmann's Syndrome whose high voice, hairless face, gender neutrality and short stature made his first run at stardom difficult and is arguably close to the heart of his modern day popularity; he's a man whose fans and collaborators include Madonna, Nancy Wilson, Lou Reed, Antony Hegarty, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and David Lynch; he's an American treasure.

That's Jimmy Scott.

I got to see Jimmy live earlier this year at Carnegie Hall, where he did a single song for the Joni Mitchell Tribute (strange set of circumstances, but go fish). He needed three handlers to help get him on and off the stage and seemed to have some difficulty figuring out how to leave and he didn't even perform a Mitchell song, but he was absolutely arresting and powerful as a tidal wave. Jimmy's eighty now; opportunities to watch him ply his trade should not be taken lightly.

The attached tracks hail from Jimmy's impressive body of work on the Savoy Jazz label. There's a considerable bit of surface noise and warp on them, which I think only adds considerably to their charm. They're both, like virtually all of Jimmy's catalog, touching and powerful. If you've never heard Scott before and these tracks leave any sort of impression, you owe it to yourself to delve a little deeper; he is certainly worth the trouble.

tell me more about it...

With the combination of Scott's latest resurgence and the prevalence of music on the internet, it's never been easier to purchase Jimmy's music than it is today. But where to start?

Amazon offers a lot of options: you could snag Falling In Love Is Wonderful and The Source (from '63 and '69, respectively), which are generally regarded as classics. Alternately, there's The Fabulous Songs and Timeless, which pull a number of pretty solid highlights from Jimmy's career at Savoy (they're available as a pair for twenty-three bucks).

If you'd like to download the tracks, iTunes offers a pretty broad variety, including 'The Source' 'Falling In Love,' 'Timeless,' and 'The Fabulous Songs' along with a lot of the newer material. eMusic's collection is unfortunately limited to Scott's work post-2000; as noted above, he's certainly still got the voice but it's a different animal from when he was in his prime.
A few more gee-gaws for your shopping cart: the critically acclaimed biography Faith In Time: The Life of Jimmy Scott and the award-winning documentary film Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew.

PBS aired 'If You Only Knew' in 2004 and crafted a jim-dandy website full of all manner of bells and whistles, notably a video of Jimmy singing 'Motherless Child' circa 2000.
Visit Jimmy Scott's official website and this extensive fan site.
Read the extensive liners to the excellent (and reasonably priced) Savoy-centric Essential Jimmy Scott.
With his sharp tongue, fascinating life and unique voice, Scott is a natural for radio; there's a plethora of online interviews with him, including this one from KCRW,the requisite 'All Things Considered' piece, a more in-depth NPR profile and a quick talk with an Oregon public station.
Read this fascinating profile from th' NY Times and this lengthy interview from All About Jazz.
Listen to three classics from Scott in realaudio: 1950's 'Everybody's Somebody's Fool', 1969's 'Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child' and 1992's 'All the Way'.
Pics of Jimmy Scott at Carnegie Hall, 2005, via Brooklyn Vegan
Explore this Jimmy Scott discography.


In the mailbox:
RE your recent writeup of audioblogs
making cd compilations

I guess I don't run a traditional website, but do I not even rate? my new comp cd is due back from the pressing plant today (or so I've been told) and you can preview the entire thing just by clicking this link.

and I'm not really mad at you, I just felt like I should at least give you a hard time.

Avi from it's a trap!

Everybody's favorite curmudgeon, Pappawheelie has a party AND a posse. So don't get him angry.
You wouldn't like him when he's angry.
My old pals at Red State Update have released a series of shows documenting their war on "girly-voiced aggressor" Neil Young.

Check 'em all out: "How messed up do you have to be when David Crosby's sperm is better than yours?"

"I cut the brakes on Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane."

And best of all: The Last Waltz

If the idea of Martin Scorcese calling Robbie Robertson "the prettiest Indian in the world" prompts a giggle, you owe this last one a click.
Shout to all my New York homies: Don't dare miss the Tzadik sponsored New Voices from Japan show at the Japan Society on May 12 + 13.
Featuring John Zorn, Mike Patton, EYE, Makigami Koichi, Haino Keiji and Jim O'Rourke; I'll see you there on the 12th!
Here's another excellent musical peek into a world most of us in the US might never see: Dalston Oxfam Shop chronicles the writer's explorations through the cheap-o tape bins in a British Oxfam shop (think Salvation army); he posts said tapes in MP3 form. Some real winners up this week, including an early Senor Coconut and a mega-obscure Orbital remix. Sally forth!
Werner Herzog eats a bullet

Via Crispin Glover's Soundtrack for the Undead
Yay and hooray: Sharpeworld is resurrected and she's got dozens of videos from the venerable California cable access variety show Stairway to Stardom.

Start out with April Lauren doing 'Good Ship Lollipop, BJ the Messenger's 'Crackhead', Tony Sanchez on 'Mack the Knife'.
Longtime Hutsketeers likely remember that I'm quite a fan of
Leslie Feist, but with nothing but a remix album out since, what's a fan to do?

John over at All Things Feist offers a quick fix with obscure mixes, live sets and out of print rarities; supporting the artist by keeping the hardcore types excited without taking cash out of the artist's pocket. Hustle on over!
I love comic nerds SO MUCH: Check out these eBay auctions for pyrographic renditions for the covers of Giant Size X-Men #1 and Uncanny X-Men #136 (the death of Jean Grey ish).

Seriously, these are rad in a major bathroom art way.

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