Album Reviews

Jimmy Scott    

I Go Back Home

Artist:     Jimmy Scott    

Album:     I Go Back Home

Label:     Eden River Records

Release Date:     01.27.2017

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An icon for half a century in the jazz world, Jimmy Scott was virtually unknown to the public at large until David Lynch created a role for him in the television series Twin Peaks back in 1992. Even among his jazz peers, Scott toiled in obscurity for most of his long career, a victim of recording contracts that allowed him no artistic freedom. Now, nearly three years after his death, the producers of I Go Back Home give his soulful interpretations of 10 standards the treatment they deserve.

Lush orchestration complements Scott’s beautifully eerie voice and he is joined by other music stalwarts, some of whom also passed on after the songs were recorded.  “Love Letters” gets a bossa nova beat and the late Oscar Castro-Neves sings the lyrics in Portuguese after Scott’s verse in English. Saxophonist James Moody, who died in 2010, elevates “Everybody Is Somebody’s Fool” 50 years after Scott first recorded it with Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra. Dee Dee Bridgewater duets with Scott on “For Once in My Life.” Two of the tracks, “I Remember You” and “Folks Who Live on the Hill”, are tributes to Scott performed by others, the former by Monica Mancini and Arturo Sandoval and the latter by Joe Pesci—yes, that Joe Pesci. Pesci also joined Scott on a lovely version of “The Nearness of You.” The most beautiful of all is a haunting “Motherless Child,” which Scott talk/sings with gorgeous organ accompaniment by Joey DeFrancesco.

—Kay Cordtz

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