Shirley Scott: Hip Soul - JazzWax

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April 27, 2011


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Douglas Payne

Hi Marc, Thanks so much for covering the great Shirley Scott here and her tremendously underrated collaborations with then-husband Stanley Turrentine. While both of these greats are gone now, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of their musical importance in the world.

Notices like yours help improve this problem plenty. While I’m not sure I can agree with you about “Hip Soul” as being the best this husband and wife sax and organ duo created together, I thought it would be worthwhile to point out the entirety of the works they actually recorded together…

Under Shirley Scott’s name:

- HIP SOUL (Prestige/1961 – part of the CD, LEGENDS OF ACID JAZZ – SHIRLEY SCOTT)
- HIP TWIST (Prestige/1961 – part of the CD, LEGENDS OF ACID JAZZ – SHIRLEY SCOTT)
- THE SOUL IS WILLING (Prestige/1963 – part of the CD, SOUL SHOUTIN’)
- SOUL SHOUTIN’ (Prestige/1963 – part of the CD, SOUL SHOUTIN’)
- BLUE FLAMES (Prestige/1964)
- QUEEN OF THE ORGAN (Impulse/1964)
- SOUL SONG (Atlantic/1968)

Under Stanley Turrentine’s name:

- DEARLY BELOVED (Blue Note/1961)
- NEVER LET ME GO (Blue Note/1963)
- A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (Blue Note/1963)
- HUSTLIN' (Blue Note/1964)
- LET IT GO (Impulse/1966)
- AIN'T NO WAY (Blue Note/1968)
- COMMON TOUCH (Blue Note/1968)

Lewis Cowdrey

Hip Soul for real. I agree. Bought it when it came out on reel to reel. Did Shirley use a bassist live??

David Brent Johnson

Marc--what a fun coincidence to read your post about this! I was just listening to HIP SOUL via the LEGENDS OF ACID JAZZ disc a couple of nights ago (one of about 50 CDs sitting by my stereo in the "liked-'em-so-much-I'm-going-to-play-them-again" area). Many thanks for your thoughtful take on the Scott-Turrentine combination; I'm a fan and have played some of these sides on Night Lights before.

O'Sullivan, Red

When you say that in that era Van Gelder's was used for "matching every possible Hammond B3 player with every conceivable tenor saxophonist" one glaring omission comes to mind... And that's Dexter.
He was never paired with organ (even later, when he was with Prestige, in the '70s)and I've always regretted this. The only exceptions in his discography are the aborted Sonny Stitt date with Don Patterson, one track only surviving (I don't think I'll ever forgive Alfred Lion for his objections to the repertoire that day: only standards. Sounds ideal to me), and a much later guest spot from the same Shirley Scott on the 1982 Musician/Elektra record "American Classic", and not nessecarily a satisfying or substantial entry, though Shirley Scott remains, for me, the finest organist of them all, and many thanks to Doug Payne for that list of their complete discography. Most valuable.
(Oh, and a further little taste of Dexter on the "Jimmy Smith Jam" from that mammoth Cobblestone box set of "Newport ,72" jam sessions. But again very fleeting. Too bad).

Johnny  Williams

I am in agreement that Shirley Scott was and still is the finest jazz organist. If anyone has any live recordings of her on organ and would be willing to sell the tapes, I am offering a fair price for a copy. Too bad the majority of her recordings employed a string bass and that really took away the essence of her true talent. Would like you to contact me at 216.371.3324

Johnny Williams

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Rock Concert: An Oral History" (Grove), "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards
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