Tom Scott / Tom Scott & the L.A. Express


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Although Tom Scott recorded one throwaway after another in the 1980s and '90s, he's still quite capable of recording a decent album -- which he proved on his 1992 straightahead date Born Again and his 1996 reunion with the L.A. Express, Bluestreak. Spontaneity and inspired blowing are the rules this time. Instead of pandering to smooth jazz radio, Scott lets loose and plays from the heart for a change. The Angelino (who's heard on tenor & soprano sax and flute) avoids smothering this very 1970s-sounding jazz/R&B/pop date with production and gives ample solo space to both himself and such Express alumni as Joe Sample (electric keyboards) and Robben Ford (electric guitar). A forgettable version of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" never really takes off, but that's the only really disappointing song on Bluestreak -- an album that was long overdue.

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