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Marilyn SCOTT

Prana Entertainment PRD0007 [76:44] DDD



Starting to Fall
You Donít Know Me
Close Enough
Get Home
In Your Eyes
Understanding Love
The Last Day
Loving You
Iím Calling You
You Donít Know What Love Is
Give In
Donít Let Love Get Away
I Always Think Of You
Let Me Be The One

Marilyn Scott, vocals
Russell Ferrante, George Duke - keyboards and drum programming
Renato Neto, Patrice Rushen, and Joe Vannelli - keyboards
Jimmy Haslip, Fred D. Washingon - bass
Michael Landau, Ray Fuller, James Hara, Ricardo Silveria, Mike Miller, Paul Jackson Jr - guitar
Steve Tavilone - soprano sax and ewi
Katisse Buckingham - soprano sax and drum programming
Jim Marentic - saxophones
Evette Harp - alto sax
Joseph Heredia, Terri Lyne Carrington - drums
Paulino De Costa, Daryl "Munyungo" Jackson - percussion
Brenda Russell, Maxayne Lewis, Lori Perry, Jim Gilstrap, Leslie Smith - backing vocals Bob Mintzer, Walt Fowler, Brandon Fields - horns


Marilyn Scottís 9th album is a compilation of her favorite previously recorded tracks. While there are two songs that have not been previously released in the US (Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," and "Understanding Love"), longtime fans will have little reason to interest themselves in this album. It is more a greatest-hits compilation as selected by the performer herself (hence the title, "Handpicked").

That said, this does a nice job of collecting together in one place Marilyn Scottís best work. It is a consistently well-produced, slick form of smooth jazz/pop. The horns are tasteful, if not inspired, and the soloists and pianists do support Scottís vision. While there is a predilection for obviously-electronic reverb on the saxophones, the performances themselves are fine. Scottís voice is soulful at times and she does a good job of knowing what she does well. Once sheís found her niche she excels at staying inside of that box. There is never a moment where she seems to be taking any chances, but she knows her audience well and plays to them perfectly.

The rest of the band is simply there to fill up the sonic space required. Generally, the electric keyboards, drum machines, and bass work are all workmanlike. They stay out of the way of everything else and generally sound as if someone typed the arrangements up on paper, looped everything and hit a "groove quantize" button on their midi processor. The rhythm sections using a human drummer are generally better, though even here there is little interplay among the musicians. There are also occasional poor choices in patches used during keyboard solos, where a cheap horn patch is used for a keyboard solo rather than using either a real trumpet or flugelhorn or selecting a patch that would have sounded less like a wannabe trumpet and more like a keyboard.

With those shortcomings, this is a compilation mostly for those who are already fans but who havenít the inclination for buying her entire catalog. It does a nice job of picking representative music for Marilyn Scott, and taken as such it is a success. As an album of great jazz, the best that can be said is that it will offend relatively few ears. That is probably the point.

Patrick Gary

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