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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke


Talkin' Verve
VERVE 549 539-2


  1. A Shot in the Dark
  2. For Dancers Only
  3. Southern Comfort
  4. Blue Bongo
  5. On the Trail
  6. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
  7. 'Taint what you do (It's the way that you do it)
  8. Good Lookin' Out
  9. Proud Mary
  10. Feeling Good
  11. Downtown
  12. Taj Mahal
  13. Heat Wave
  14. Make Someone Happy

This compilation comes from no less than 13 albums Shirley Scott made between 1963 and 1971. I have not listed all the personnel, but suffice it to say that she has every kind of backing from Big Band (Oliver Nelson) to the last track, which has her in a trio setting with Bob Cranshaw on Bass and Otis Finch on Drums.

Shirley was raised and had a formal musical education on piano in Philadelphia, where she did jazz gigs, before switching to the Organ in 1955. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she has a nice light sound, but her playing generates a great deal of swing. I have always been against the Hammond Organ ever since I heard Mike Carr totally drown out the wonderful playing of Dick Morrissey at Coventry University a lot of years ago! It is probably the reason that I have not paid attention previously to the superb talent of Ms. Scott. No matter what the setting, she produces a great bluesy sound and where she is backing musicians of the calibre of Stanley Turrentine, who plays beautifully on tracks 7 and 8, her light comping is of the highest calibre. This facet of her playing is heard again when trumpeter Clarke Terry receives the benefit of her fine accompaniment on track 13.

If like me you haven't got any of Shirley's albums in your collection, buy this one and hear what you've been missing! I'm going to get me some more!

Don Mather

Don Mather is a saxophone player and bandleader in Coventry

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