Tony Scott

Homage to Lady Day

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On this CD from the Italian Philology label, veteran bop clarinetist Tony Scott (little heard from on a consistent basis since leaving the United States in 1960) plays eight standards that Billie Holiday had recorded. What is odd about the recording is that the clarinetist insisted that the rhythm section (pianist Franco D'Andrea, bassist Attilo Zanchi and drummer Gianni Cazzola) record first without him, leaving room for his melody statements and solos. Other than on "Lover Man," all of Scott's playing was actually overdubbed, even though he recorded his parts on the same day as the trio. Despite the lack of interplay between Scott and his sidemen (who of course had no chance to react to his playing), the music is generally worthwhile, and it is not that obvious that the clarinet was overdubbed. The emphasis is on ballads (such as "Some Other Spring," "Everything Happens to Me" and an adventurous "You're My Thrill"), although pianist D'Andrea has a few chances to cut loose and there are some medium-tempo tracks. It is not a definitive outing by Tony Scott, who is a bit erratic in spots, but it is worth checking out by those who wonder whatever happened to the long-lost clarinetist.

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