THE JAZZ OWL
Marilyn Scott has traveled in ever-widening circles among musical greats of the last 45+ years. Beginning with school and local club gigs when she was 15 years old, she has added a musical who’s who to her contact list ever since. The lineup on her current album, The Landscape, proves that.
On this, her thirteenth album as a leader, she brings to bear the likes of Scott Kinsey and Russell Ferrante on keyboards, Jimmy Haslip, Mike Valerio, and Logan Kane on bass, Gary Novak, Steve Schaeffer, Jimmy Branly, and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Steve Khan and Michael Landau on guitar, and the great Alex Acuña on percussion. And each of the seven tracks are her original compositions.
She writes with Scott Kinsey on three of the songs and Russell Ferrante on three. On one of the tracks–Irreplaceable–she writes with both Kinsey and Ferrante. Her writing talents are as impressive as her vocals.
Thrown Out into Space is a cool number with brilliant drumming from Novak and that amazing bass of Haslip. Kinsey’s keyboards are brilliant and the soprano sax of Steve Tavaglione are spot on. Her vocals hooked me from the start. The production is fantastic and heightens the effects of performance and composition.
Summer Night is a wistful and touching Jazz nocturne that touches all the right spots. The delicate trio work of Ferrante, Schaeffer, and Valerio is excellent. Marilyn’s vocal inflection and reaches are wonderful.
Then Irreplaceable brings Colaiuta and Haslip together with Landau’s atmospheric guitar and the steady and straight-ahead vocals from Marilyn and the deliberate and meaningful lyrics make this into one of the true highlights on an album full of highlights.
Tomorrow is a fitting follow-up to Irreplaceable with Haslip and Colaiuta remaining with Kinsey. The lyrics are an excellent sequel, as well. Katisse Buckingham adds the cool soprano saxophone. Unzip sees Ferrante and Kinsey together on keyboards for this warm beach reverie.
It all wraps up with The Sun. The Perri Sisters (backup singers to Anita Baker) join for this semi samba and, with Marilyn, make this into one gorgeous number. Khan’s sweet acoustic guitar alongside Ferrante’s piano is stellar.
The Landscape is sweet, sultry, even sassy, Jazz and serves to remind how marvelous Marilyn Scott really is. She can change-up the vocals for the demands of different styles and slips alongside the brilliant musicianship of the artists with her. She is remarkable.