Jimmy Rowles

Scarab

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AllMusic Review by

Jimmy Rowles is obviously in a playful mood throughout this 1978 studio date for the French label Musica. His choice of songs ranges from standards to classics by jazz piano greats, and even a swinging bossa nova ("Wave"), as well as his delightful originals. He omits the finger-snapping routine from Duke Ellington's "Dancers in Love," though his bassline occasionally suggests the drone of bagpipes. His humorous nature is apparent in his rollicking take of Fats Waller's "The Jitterbug Waltz." One hidden gem awaiting discovery is Henri Renaud's lovely ballad "Profil," which Rowles accents with his shimmering right hand. While Rowles' vocals are a bit gravelly (no doubt to the years of heavy smoking), his singing of his ballad "Myriam" is sincere. On the other hand, "Frasier (The Sensuous Lion)," which has witty lyrics by Johnny Mercer, is nothing but pure fun. Locating a copy of this long out of print LP will be somewhat challenging.