Betty Scott

Betty Scott Sings with Lennie Tristano

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A major disappointment, this session has promise that's never realized. Recorded at the end of the pianist/teacher's life, it offers rare documentation of Lennie Tristano's work with a vocalist. Unfortunately, the singer, Betty Scott, is strictly an amateur. She has a light, poorly supported voice that turns shrill when high and porous when down. Apparently a Tristano student, she clearly needed to be studying with a voice teacher, not a pianist, no matter how good a teacher Tristano is reputed to have been. Her delivery of the lyrics is uncertain. Some might find this tentativeness an attempt at sounding vulnerable, but Scott doesn't have that much control. To make matters worse, the tempi of the songs, all well-trod standards, are uniformly torpid, which only highlights her technical weaknesses. Tristano stays in the background. He demonstrates that he would be an inspired accompanist for a good vocalist; Scott is a long way from that.

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