The Very Best of Tom Scott covers his recording career for the GRP label between 1987 and 1996 only, and is therefore misleading. The 11 cuts selected reveal different aspects of Scott's playing, but all but one, the bebop tune "Born Again," this set's last tune from the album of the same name, feature Scott in the various smooth jazz and jazz-funk settings. Scott's sound has been synonymous with the genre for three decades -- long before the genre had a name, in fact. Scott's session work alone would fill a box set, so it's difficult to narrow the man down to this one 11-track sampler. The collection's best tracks are the aforementioned (because it displays a completely different sound of the saxophonist's expertise), the title cut from 1994's Reed My Lips (with the late Grover Washington, Jr. on soprano), "Only You" (from 1996's Bluestreak, with Robben Ford, Joe Sample, Steve Gadd, and Ralph MacDonald), and the ballad "In Your Eyes" (also from Bluestreak). This is one of those sets for folks for whom smooth jazz is the only kind of jazz and who are looking for an introduction to his work.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek