Thursday, December 18, 2008
That bluesman turned ’70s pop superstar Boz Scaggs would one day turn to jazz is no surprise. “Harbor Lights” from Silk Degrees and “Heart Of Mine” from Other Roads are just two examples of how his vocal style plays to jazz sensibilities. Following But Beautiful, Scaggs’ 2003 jazz debut, Speak is less successful. The striking contrast of Scaggs’ extremely laissez faire approach and pianist Paul Nagel’s paired done rhythm arrangements on Beautiful gave Scaggs’ free rein to roam; the result was outstanding.
This time, working with established jazz arranger Gil Goldstein, the result is mixed. Together they take chances that don't always pay off. On Invitation the quasi-Latin rhythm doesn’t suit Scaggs, and his delivery on Save Your Love is too schmaltzy. The light swing of She Was Too Good To Me and I’ll Remember April, on the other hand, fits like a glove.