Little Jimmy Scott

Mood Indigo

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Jimmy Scott (aka Little Jimmy Scott) is one of those singers who has never recognized a boundary between pop, jazz, and R&B. From his start in the late '40s, he's worked with musicians of various styles while keeping an open ear to anything of interest. Contemporary albums included songs by Talking Heads, Paul Simon, Simply Red, and other artists, but for Mood Indigo, Scott has gone back to the standards. Besides the title track, he sings "Without a Song," "Time After Time," "There Will Never Be Another You," and "How Deep Is the Ocean?" All undoubtedly old friends to Scott, which accounts for the warmth and depth of the performances. Scott also mixes up the arrangements, sometimes backed by a quartet with Hank Crawford and Cyrus Chestnut, but on two tracks accompanied only by a guitar. While suspicious listeners might think the world doesn't need yet another collection of standards, Mood Indigo should overcome such reservations. Far from being exhausted, these songs still have plenty to offer and Scott knows how to coax the best from them. Taken at a slow tempo, "Without a Song" becomes sad and wistful while Scott's slightly astringent vocal tone makes "Blue Skies" more bracing than usual. Full of such unassuming treasures, Mood Indigo shows a singer who hasn't yet run out of things to say.

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