Search - Stephen Scott :: Beautiful Thing

Beautiful Thing
Stephen Scott
Beautiful Thing
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Stephen Scott
Title: Beautiful Thing
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Polygram Records
Release Date: 1/14/1997
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 731453318625

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Deserves a listen
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 04/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Stephen Scott is one of a large number of "young lions" who made a splash in the late '80s and early '90s -- a group that included Roy Hargrove, James Carter, Kenny Garrett, Ron Blake, Cyrus Chestnutt, Gregory Hutchinson, Tim Warfield, Marlon Jordan, Antonio Hart, Eric Reed, Christian McBride, Mark Whitfield and many others. While all of them are immensely talented, they produced albums that somehow lacked the fire necessary to create a real buzz among the still very small "pure jazz" audience--although Hargrove, Carter, Jordan and Reed, in particular, produced notable exceptions, as did Scott with this underrated release.One of Scott's admirable qualities is that his playing doesn't immediately recall any particular influence. This album shows that he absorbed a wide variety of styles. The eclectism of the release, in fact, slowed my attraction to it. Over time, though, the strength of S. Scott's power shown through (and I was willing to give him more of a chance due to his great contributions to Joe Henderson's "Lush Life"). "The Beautiful Thing" features originals, but also reinterpretations of tunes by Wayne Shorter ("Oriental Folk Song"), Henderson ("Blue Bossa"), and Ornette Coleman {"Lonely Woman), as well as the gospel standard "This Little Light of Mine" and even the theme from "I Love Lucy." That's quite a range.All of the reinterpretations are impressive, particularly "Lonely Woman," which he supplies with a lilt that was not present in Ornette's minor, mysterious original. Of the originals, I'm particularly fond of the funky "The Heretic," which contains some deep grooves that Scott and Kenny Garrett explore very satisfactorily.Scott gets tremendous support on "The Beautiful Thing" from Garrett, Hargrove associate Ron Blake, Branford Marsalis, Victor Lewis and others, but the album feels guided by Scott's fleet, responsive accompaniment and soloing, which effortlessly slips in behind whomever is playing, then comments creatively, no matter what the style.Much has been made of the younger jazz generation's supposed aping of earlier players and styles and have used this as an explanation for their rapid disappearance from the recording scene. This album and others show that that explanation doesn't entirely wash. (Besides, would Sonny Rollins be so misled that he would hire Stephen Scott to play behind him?) No, I believe the problem is traceable to the stubborn and ongoing resistance to jazz, which continues to be a tough sell in America, no matter how many supposedly hip "smooth jazz" afficianadoes there are out there. (Listen to Marlon Jordan's "The Undaunted" -- if you can find it -- with open ears and try to explain why a masterful release such as it is from a then 20-year-old trumpet player is deleted from the Columbia catalog.)Although this album is listed as "out of stock," you will, sadly, find it in the bargain bins at your local CD store. Grab it for a pittance, but when you do, wonder why you got it so cheaply."