Ronnie Scott

Great Scott: The Birth of a Legend

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Ronnie Scott will always be best remembered as the owner of England's most famous jazz club, Ronnie Scott's. However he was also quite significant as one of England's top musicians of the bebop era and the 1950s. The tenor saxophonist is featured throughout this CD on some of his best recordings of the 1946-1953 period. Rather than a complete reissue of his early titles, this double-CD gives listeners a fine overview of Scott's most important playing period. He is featured as a sideman with Ted Heath, Jack Parnell, the Esquire Five, Alan Dean, Arnold Ross and several specially assembled all-star groups in addition to leading his own combos and orchestra. While Scott, who at various times recalls Lester Young, Flip Phillips and Dexter Gordon, is the solo star throughout, there are also many fine spots for quite a few other talented British players including Jack Parnell on vibes, altoist Johnny Dankworth, trumpeter Kenny Baker, a young Victor Feldman on vibes and piano, trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar and altoists Spike Robinson (decades before he emerged in the U.S. on tenor) and Derek Humble. It is particularly interesting hearing how the music of the Great Britain jazz scene paralleled that in the United States, perhaps trailing two years behind during this period. Highly recommended.

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