Sooner or later labels should just get real. This is not the "best of" Tom Scott. It's just the best of Tom Scott on Columbia. It's the Impulse recordings, the Warner recordings, and the GRP recordings to boot that would really make a representative best-of. To be fair, when this was issued, there wasn't a lot of cross-licensing going on in the music biz, though there is some here. Since it was issued, much consolidation has occurred, and, strangely enough, there has been a lot more cooperation. Perhaps they are all going to become one large conglomerate one day. OK. Enough. The music here was compiled from the records Scott released between 1974 and 1980 on Ode/A&M and CBS. It's solid and representative of the period of the easy groove, early contemporary jazz that prefigured the smooth jazz era of the '80s and '90s. That said, Scott, who is a consummate musician, played with plenty of soul and fire whether on sax or flute, even in his ballads, as evidenced by his reading of Ralph MacDonald's "Time and Love." "New York Connection" has enough requisite easy groove to be classified with the material that Bob James released on the first four volumes in his CTI years. The strutting, swaggering funk of "Tom Cat" is here, of course, as is "Gotcha," the killer, screaming, big band funky theme song from the Starsky & Hutch television show.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek