You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jimmy Scott

Many performers have a signature song -- one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage.

With:
Band: Jimmy Scott, Hilliard Greene, Michael Kannan, Justin Robinson, Dwayne Broadnax.

Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage.

While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at puberty — no longer soars to quite the heights it once did, his uncanny, behind-the-beat phrasing still makes every song an adventure. As such, even though virtually all the material performed at this intimate gig was familiar, it often took a good while to discern exactly where Scott was going with individual songs.

Not that it was a chore, however. Scott and his crackerjack band, the Jazz Expressions, kept up a winning, flirtatious rapport that entranced the packed house from the first notes of his blissful rendition of Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.” That uptempo opener, culled from his new Fantasy disc “Mood Indigo,” would cushion the blow he dealt with some of the tearier tunes that followed.

That spell was headiest on Scott’s most melodramatic choices, including a halting “Imagination” and a version of Duke Ellington’s “I’ve Got It Bad, and That Ain’t Good” that struck a balance between the roadhouse and the opera house. The singer, just weeks past his 75th birthday, proved every bit as capable of handling the twists and turns on his own — as borne out by a mid-set stroll through “Time After Time,” on which his only accompaniment was Michael Kannan’s minimal piano melody.

The diminutive Scott belied his frail appearance by doing a 180-degree turn with a version of “Pennies From Heaven” that saw him follow musical director Hilliard Greene’s walking bass line with a loose-limbed gait — finding a heretofore unimagined degree of funk in that chestnut.

Scott topped off the rather short set by taking on the Sinatra-popularized classic “All the Way” — and even in the heart of New York, New York, he took full possession of every note.

Jimmy Scott

Birdland, New York; 220 seats; $25 top

Production: Presented inhouse. Opened and reviewed Aug. 11, 2000; closed Aug. 13.

Cast: Band: Jimmy Scott, Hilliard Greene, Michael Kannan, Justin Robinson, Dwayne Broadnax.

More Music

  • LeLe Pons

    Lele Pons Signs With Universal Music Group’s 10:22 pm Label

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

  • Joe Jonas House

    Joe Jonas Lists Luxury Farmhouse in Los Angeles

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

  • A Look at Emmy-Nominated Composers for

    Emmys: Limited Series or TV Movie Score Nominees Range From History to Penguins

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

  • ‘The Velvet Underground Experience’ Opening in New York

    ‘The Velvet Underground Experience’ Exhibition Opening in New York This Fall

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

  • Music Streaming Wars

    T-Mobile Customers to Get Free Pandora Subscriptions, $25 Live Nation Tickets

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

  • Amazon Music Names Andre Stapleton Head

    Amazon Music Names Andre Stapleton Head of U.S. Label Relations

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

  • Honoree Chester Bennington, left, performs with

    Slash Reveals Unreleased Chester Bennington Collaboration, Talks GNR

    Many performers have a signature song — one tune they can inhabit so thoroughly that they make it their own. The remarkable Jimmy Scott, on the other hand, achieves that goal virtually every time he opens his mouth onstage. While Scott’s ethereal voice –the result of a genetic disorder that prevented the ordinary change at […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content