A compilation reissue selecting from five Tony Scott Brunswick label 10-inch and 12-inch albums all recorded between February and December 1953: Music after Midnight – recorded at a jam session in the birthplace of bebop, Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem – Hi Fi Jazz, Concert Jazz, Jazz for GIs and Tony Scott Quartet.
Clarinettist Scott shakes up his bands as he goes along pianist Dick Katz the constant presence while Milt Hinton has the lion’s share of bass duties. Drummers including Philly Joe Jones and Osie Johnson. The leader was in his early-thirties when these albums were recorded, his Julliard days quite distant by this time, but he was going through a strong spell in his career, recent freelancing including a new departure in his gaining admittance to the Duke Ellington orchestra.
The sound quality is OK although none of the bass players are particularly well recorded (a big problem for a long time in recording jazz) this reissue including reproductions of the original liner notes and album sleeves. Scott’s reed is lighter and more fragile on his own tune ‘Bob’s Blob’ but the style here is more interesting, Cool School even, than on some of the earlier albeit much gutsier Music After Midnight tracks. The Jazz for GIs track ‘Milt to the Hilt,’ another Scott original isn’t nearly so well recorded “the Judge” (Hinton) who the tune is named after hardly audible at first while Katz’s piano introduction to ‘I Cover the Waterfront’ from the Tony Scott Quartet album is positively funereal adding a much more sombre atmosphere and a world away from the early fun-loving tracks.
Scott, who died in 2007, was something of a maverick. But on this worthwhile compilation toes the orthodox bebop line and builds quite a heat at least in the best moments of the album. The stately version of ‘Goodbye’ by Gordon Jenkins from the Tony Scott Quartet 10-inch stands out above all. SG
Released on 2 March