Friday, December 19, 2008

The Lowdown On Boz Scaggs

Speak Low
Boz Scaggs
Four Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco

One thing you can say for Boz Scaggs is that he is not afraid to tackle different genres of music. From singing rock/blues with the Steve Miller Band to his solo pop hits like "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle", he is always exploring and evolving.

So now at the age of 62, it would seem to be a logical progression to venture into the world of jazz standards.

His new jazz album Speak Low is the second jazz album he has put out in this decade and it's another good one as he gives beautiful and wonderful vocal renditions of such standards as Nancy Wilson's "Save Your Love for Me" or Kurt Weill's composition "Speak Low". This album is comprised of twelve classic songs by such composers as Rodgers & Hart, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer and others.

In addition to the great use of vibes, piano, bass and strings on this album, the real star is Boz Scaggs wonderful vocals. The balance of his voice along side the instrumentation is impeccable.

The opening tune, “Invitation,” sets the tone for the rest of the album. The use of a bass clarinet and vibes coexist perfectly with Scaggs vocals. And sometimes you forget how great of a guitarist Scaggs is too. This is highlighted in the album as well.

Other highlights include Scaggs singing with the saxophone on “Save Your Love For Me,” the vibe bridge of “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” and the bass/piano combo on “I Wish I Knew".

The only thing for me, and this is true with other artists...Linda Rondstadt comes to mind...The jazz stylings are great and he does a great job with this genre but I want to hear at least one more album like Silk Degrees or even an album of Rock and Soul standards as when Scaggs was recorded on the 80's Rock and Soul Review album.

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