Top Five Vocals of 2004
(not in rank order)
Andy Bey. American Song. Savoy Jazz
Kitty Margoli.s Heart & Soul: Live in San Francisco. Mad-Kat
Mark Murphy. Bop for Miles. HighNOte
David Thorne Scott. Shade.
Judi Silvano. Let Yourself Go. Zoho.
Other Top Vocals of 2004
Irene Kral. Just for Now. Jazzed Media
Dianne Reeves. Christmas Time is Here. Blue Note
Tierney Sutton. Dancing in the Dark. Telarc.
Nancy Wilson. RSVP. Manchester Craftsmen's Guild
Giacomo Gates. Centerpiece. Origin
Roseanna Vitro. Tropical Postcards. Challenge
Jane Monheit. Taking a Chance on Love. Sony
Ray Charles. Genius Loves Company. Concord Jazz
Tom Lellis. Southern Exposure. Adventure Music
Bob Dorough. Sunday at Iridium. Arbors
Kalley Johnson. Live at Birdland. Jazzconnect
South City Voices. Got Swing! Self produced
DAVID THORNE SCOTT. Shade. Self produced. On my first
audition of David Thorne Scott, I was knocked out. The jazz
singer/arranger is also a composer/lyricist who is a welcome
change from the more predictable vocal jazzers in the
competitive vocal milieu.
Scott's voice is refreshingly different; he explores, discovers,
and shares resulting creative approaches to melodies and
doesn't fail to swing. His valuation of the import of melody and
controlled use of dynamics is crystal clear. There is
excitement in his shifts in tempo, appealing motifs, and
phrasing at intriguing junctures, all executed in a pure sweet
tone. These traits are funneled into his occasionally playful
improvisations and dramatic story telling.
Besides his own five originals, there are the familiar Just One
of Those Things, Have You Met Miss Jones, April in
Paris, Dancing on the Ceiling, and an impressive mood-
setting of the ballad For All We Know. His bandmates, like
Scott, are Berklee College faculty members - pianist Mark
Shilansky, bassist John Funkhouser, drummer Jon Hazilla,
and saxophonist Daryl Lowery. We're sure to hear more from
and about David Thorne Scott.
Herb Wong - Jazz Education Journal (Apr 1, 2004)
David Thorne Scott is a singer with a mellow tenor voice and
a real feel for the improvisatory wonders of Jazz. He fares
very well on imaginative arrangements of the usual clutch of
standards here, like a starry-eyed and dancing “Have You
Met Miss Jones?” and an “April In Paris” that shifts tempo
several times. He also has fun with several non standard
tunes including a bunch of his own work. “Shade” has a sharp
funk edge and “Get Out Of Your Own Way” is a swinging
brush-off song with a slick bass line. “Clown Stalking” has an
up and down melody that gives Scott a chance to really show
off his vocal prowess and “Saratoga Hunch” is some typically
wry David Frishberg that Scott sings with the requisite casual
coolness. His group is an excellent match for his swinging,
punchy vocals, particularly the rock solid bass work of John
Funkhouser and the soulful Phil Woods-like interjections of
alto player Daryl Lowery. Unlike the glorified cabaret singers
being pushed as new male Jazz singing stars today, Scott
does this music the right way. He phrases like a saxophone
player and is as slippery and hip as the young Mel Torme. It
would be nice to see some big label pick him up and sell him
like they do a Peter Cincotti. Unfortunately, he’s probably too
good for that.
Jerome Wilson - Cadence Magazine (Aug 1, 2005)
Four-and-a-half stars out of five
Months ago I received a review copy of Here Come the Boys:
A Canadian Crooner Collection, featuring 15 male voices
singing jazz standards. A few mildly successful highlights
aside, I found some of these performances to be entirely
bland, others blatantly atrocious.
Aside from those boys belonging to the male sex, they
seemed connected only by the predictability of their clichéd
executions. Although I was semi-stunned at some of the
selected mediocrity, I recall hoping this wouldn’t become the
new element of surprise in 21st century jazz recordings.
Luckily “Shade” has calmed me down considerably. David
Thorne Scott’s dazzling debut, which features 7 standards, 5
originals and one by Paul Simon, is not just an affirmation of
his artistry �� it raises the bar for singers who claim to take
Crystal clear diction, squeaky clean tone and the ability to
scat like a true horn player are among the qualities that set
this vocalist apart from hundreds of thousands of jazz singers
of either sex. It comes as no surprise that he is an Associate
Professor at the Berklee College of Music, for Scott’s
intellectually stimulating take on the music exudes the
perfectionism one might only expect from a devoted
Scat �� a four-letter S-word �� is often given a bad
usually because jazz singers use it incorrectly or in bad taste.
From Giacomo Gates to Julie Michels, there are vocalists out
there that seem enormously talented until they start scatting.
It isn’t enough to randomly toss out the scoolyadoos and
shoolyabops �� one must master the syllabic instrument in
jazz context if he/she is singing jazz.
This means a swinging grasp on harmonic, melodic and
rhythmic improvisation, and it all has to be as interesting as
what one might expect from an instrument. Without these
essential qualities scat singers miss the point completely, and
I am happy to report that Dave is not one of these singers.
The sweetest chorus I have heard so far from his lips: a
thrilling sample of “There Will Never Be Another You”,
available on his website.
Luckily Scott is respectful enough to abstain from scatting on
standard fare such as “April in Paris” and “For All We Know”,
thereby managing to bewitch with his skillful brand of
storytelling. These tracks are a superb display of Scott’s
sophisticated musical direction and spotless technique.
Besides emerging as a genuine romantic, the singer is able to
playfully refashion melody in a manner that consistently
enhances a lyric.
If the weakest element in “Shade” is Dave Scott’s own
originals, let this be a compliment, for they aren’t half bad.
From the uncanny “Clown Stalking” to the inspirational “Small
Feats”, some of these are nearly as stimulating as his
revitalizing interpretations of worn-out standards.
I hope scat singers are among the listeners that take note of
David Thorne Scott: an indisputable jazz artist that belongs in
Ori Dagan - ejazznews.com (Jan 23, 2005)