Little Jimmy Scott

Regal Records Live in New Orleans

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Certainly, this rough live recording of a 1951 club gig is primarily a historical document, and not one of the first discs you'd turn to if you want to hear some vintage Jimmy Scott. On its own terms, though, it's pretty enjoyable. The band cooks in an R&B/jazz crossover style, yielding a sound that's rawer than what you'll find on most of Scott's studio sides. Scott himself sings well in his inimitable half-man/half-woman style, sounding like a higher-pitched version of the pre-Atlantic Records-era Ray Charles. Only five of the nine songs, by the way, actually feature Scott's vocals; the rest are instrumentals by the backing band, including a smoking, honking sax battle between Ray Abrams and guest Sam Butera on "Dueling Tenors."

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