Shirley Scott

Soul Searching

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Soul Searching spotlights Shirley Scott's accelerated development as a composer -- originals like "Duck and Rock" and "Plunk Plunk Plunk" are solidly yet spaciously constructed, affording Scott's Hammond organ the room to vamp, flutter, and wail its way in and around the melodies. Longtime collaborators Wendell Marshall on bass and Arthur Edgehill on drums are typically effective in establishing the simple but lively rhythms that keep Scott's more self-indulgent impulses in check -- each song is a model of energy and efficiency as tight as an outgrown pair of shoes. Still, taken as a whole Soul Searching wears thin -- the austerity of the arrangements offers little variation from track to track, and after a while one wishes for additional elements in the mix, à la Scott's more soulful outings with husband/tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine.

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