Little Jimmy Scott, one of the great jazz vocalists of any time and period in jazz, passed away recently. I met Little Jimmy Scott at my flat in Brooklyn. He was making a comeback of sorts – or he wanted to. He hadn’t been singingly publicly for a long time.
I had no idea who he was. Joe Thomas, the band leader who brought him to my flat for a rehearsal – just voice and piano – said something to the effect of “Little Jimmy Scott is one of the great great jazz vocalists.” We had the rehearsal. Subsequently I played on a few gigs with him.
Behind The Beat
No one could lay back behind the beat like Little Jimmy Scott. Lay back on the beat meaning he had a way of lingering at and on what felt to be measures and measures behind the form of the tune. And his voice – anything I might say to describe it is understatement. He influenced more than a few of many of the great jazz vocalists.