Hazel Scott

Relaxed Piano Moods

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Hazel Scott's impressive bop piano was just one facet of talents that extended to playing classical music on the concert stage, singing and acting on-stage and onscreen, and hosting her own radio and television shows. A child prodigy, Scott entered Juilliard at the age of eight and made extensive concert tours of Europe, Africa, and the Near East before recording this date for Debut Records in 1955. For the set, she is accompanied by Debut's founders bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach. Given her talent and training, it's no surprise that Scott has technique to burn. Her energetic presence and personality and easy authority at the piano are amply demonstrated on the up-tempo numbers "The Jeep Is Jumpin'," "A Foggy Day," and "Mountain Greenery," and on the smouldering mid-tempo of Scott's "Git up From Here." The two ballad tracks are not quite so distinctive, although Scott's attractive performance of "Like Someone in Love" is elegantly detailed and nuanced. The alternate takes of "Git up From Here" and "Lament" are tentative compared to the main takes. Mingus and Roach are generally heard in supporting roles -- which they perform to perfection -- but they also get in some nice four- and eight-bar vignettes here and there. This music is also part of the Mingus boxed set The Complete Debut Recordings.

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