As the liner notes to the Jazzhaus release Tony Scott Lost Tapes Germany 1957/Asia 1962 point out, after a nine-month stint as music director for Harry Belafonte, in 1956 the clarinetist came out with his album, Both Sides of Tony Scott. Scott used the occasion to develop musical ideas culled from “his two principal role models,” Charlie Parker and Ben Webster. From Parker, Scott focused on his “polyrhythmic playing and asymmetric phrasing,” and from Webster, his “emotional, melodious ballad playing.” The musical development—up-tempo bebop juxtaposed against smooth ballad—that began with that album continues and builds in these recordings made in Stuttgart in 1957 and in Hong Kong and Singapore in 1962.
While the sound quality on some of the Asian recordings isn’t always equal to the musical quality, these are performances that deserve preservation. The album opens with Scott fronting a quartet on five 1957 studio tracks, the most impressive of these are fine versions of “Lover, Come Back to Me” and “The Man I Love.” There is a Scott original, “Blues,” a sultry “You Go to My Head,” and a subtle take of “Moonlight in Vermont.” An alternate live version of the latter from 1962 closes the album.
Two live Stuttgart tracks follow: a solid bop romp through “A Night in Tunisia” and a 10-minute-plus exploration of “There Will Never Be Another You” which adds horns to the instrumental mix. Three live tracks from Hong Kong, also including horns, complete the album, beginning with another Scott original, “Blues for Charlie Parker,” followed by a blasting “Hong Kong Jazzclub Blues” and the classic “All the Things You Are.”
Scott’s work with the clarinet is impressive. His tone is evocative and he handles ballads with a melodic intensity that lends them an emotional honesty. And when he takes a tune up-tempo, it makes you wonder why there aren’t more clarinetists putting the pedal to the metal. With Tony Scott Lost Tapes, Jazzhaus has come up with another winner.
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