It is very rare: an album that contains ONLY verrrry good songs! This is certainly a deserted island must. At least for those who are touched by Jimmy Scott's voice and how he uses it masterfully as an instrument of art. This is the master of jazz ballad singing, or call it torch song if you want, but no-bo-dy interprets them like Jimmy does! The key word is INTENSITY.
Countless great artists adore him, respect him, (just check his official website), yet he seems to remain a cult figure.
Often on the edge of exaggeration, Jimmy Scott does remain credible with his passionate and powerful high singing. His exceptional (slow) phrasing accentuates each word, each syllable, each note. This man doesn't sing a song, he lives it (he does know what it is to be a "motherless child"). Pure artistry is this respect, or even better: LOVE, for rythm, melody and lyrics.
The choice of songs is superb. Too many favourites to name any, although "On Broadway" stands apart as different in tone, yet delicious too. In fact, this album is really too special a collection of masterpieces to listen to in one time; one should only listen to one song a day!
I'm not sure if this is the best album to get to know Jimmy Scott, but it is surely his most intense album, the top of his work. Keep in mind that, back in 1969, it was the first album this man could finally do all as he wanted, without any commercial rules or restrictions.
Timeless art. Breaks your heart. Feeds your soul.
The final note leaves you breathless and emotionally exhausted as if Jimmy used your own energy too... Try it!
**For those who like it a bit more sweet and smooth, I recommend his other masterpiece, the hauntingly romantic "Falling in love is wonderful" (1962), arranged with beautiful strings, where Jimmy Scott renders a new quality to jazz crooning. Ray Charles was there and bowed his head in respect.