Poets of Jazz

Tony Scott

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Poets of Jazz Review

by Scott Yanow

In the 1950s, Tony Scott was one of the top modern jazz clarinetists. His cool tone and relaxed approach were a contrast to the virtuosity of Buddy DeFranco, but due to the clarinet's eclipse during the era, he was not influential at all. Depressed by the death of some of his friends, Scott left the United States in 1960 and became a world traveler. Although he continued playing in a wide variety of contexts, Scott rarely recorded for decades and was a major loss to jazz. In the 1990s, Tony Scott appeared on records much more frequently. This CD was recorded when he was about to turn 74. His tone is still quite cool at times, but Scott's intonation is a bit shaky in spots and the passing of over 35 years is felt in his playing. A set of ballads interpreted in duet with pianist Renato Sellani, much of this music (which includes "Stardust," "My Old Flame," "Embraceable You" and "Gone With the Wind") is taken out of tempo; only "All Of Me" is played above a slow tempo. The results are relaxed, moody, atmospheric and occasionally a bit dull due to the lack of variety. Interesting, but far from essential.

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