Singer-composer-teacher and multi-instrumentalist David Thorne Scott instantly stated “piano” when requested to call his most important instrument. However in line proper behind the keyboard are trumpet, flugelhorn, and electrical bass. And forward of all of them is his voice.
Scott, who can be celebrating his fiftieth birthday in addition to the discharge of his latest album “Thornewood” at a live performance being streamed by way of ATAC Downtown Arts & Music (previously Superb Issues) on April 13, is a jazz singer. A Nebraska native, he spoke about his profession and his album from his house in Somerville.
“I used to be singing earlier than I used to be taking part in something,” he stated, then chronicled his journey by way of music. “I began within the church choir, started taking part in trumpet in fourth grade, and obtained into musical theater in sixth grade. I used to be listening to pop music on the radio – issues like Chicago and Corridor & Oates. However after I performed trumpet in the highschool jazz band, I obtained into swing music, and began listening to Bobby McFerrin and singing alongside to Ella Fitzgerald information. Once I was in faculty, I sang ‘’Spherical Midnight’ at a expertise present, and a buddy who performed jazz piano accompanied me. Listening to these piano chords shift beneath what I used to be doing with the melody simply blew me away, and I made a decision I wanted to study to play jazz piano if I used to be going to get good at jazz singing. So, I began hitting piano fairly exhausting after I was about 21.”
His musical accomplishments since then embrace a long-running cocktail piano and singing gig on the Ritz in Boston, singing and taking part in swing period tunes as a part of the Classic Vocal Quartet (each of these are presently on maintain because of the pandemic), a professorship within the Voice Division at Berklee (the place he teaches on-line and in-person), and 4 albums of jazz requirements, widespread covers, and unique compositions.
Scott’s extremely versatile, wide-ranging voice is, in fact, on the middle of “Thornewood,” which runs, stylistically, from a cool, jazzy, spare cowl of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain Excessive” to a ballad-like model – with a rustic ingredient – of Townes Van Zandt’s “If I Wanted You” – executed up as a duet with Paula Cole. Additionally on this system is the swinging unique “The Darkish Aspect,” which bursts right into a scatting session, and Scott’s tender “Develop,” a deeply emotional track he wrote simply after the start of his first baby, who’s now 15.
Scott, who co-produced the album with pianist-producer and longtime duet associate Mark Shilansky, stays away from devices this time, and has, amongst others, Shilansky on piano, Jason Palmer on trumpet, Marty Ballou on bass, Kevin Barry on guitar, Walter Smith III on saxophone, and Austin McMahon on drums. Scott determined to stay with singing.
“I’m not taking part in devices this time as a result of different individuals play them higher,” he stated. “If Mark’s round, I don’t need to be taking part in piano. My earlier document (‘Hopeful Romantic’) was extra of a pop-rock-jazz-fusion factor, and I performed all of the keyboards on that one. However I’m doing all of the background vocals on ‘Thornewood.’ I recorded them throughout Covid, in my bed room.”
Requested to touch upon three particular songs on the document – “Rocky Mountain Excessive,” “The Darkish Aspect,” and “Fall into You,” Scott was joyful to oblige.
“I’ve been singing ‘Rocky Mountain Excessive’ for near 10 years,” he stated. “There are a few themes within the track that actually converse to me. One is this sense of with the ability to reinvent your self. It says that within the mountain air, you might be anyone you need to be. However there’s additionally just a little little bit of a darkish facet to the track – the half about how environmental degradation kind of threatens that soul-freeing feeling.”
Although he’s been recognized to interrupt out in scatting all through his profession, he actually goes at it full pressure towards the top of “The Darkish Aspect.”
“I like scatting, however I do know that a lot of individuals don’t, so I attempt to be considered about it; I needed to verify I wasn’t scatting on each track,” he stated. “On ‘The Darkish Aspect,’ I imagine we had left some solo house. At first, I didn’t know if it was going to be trumpet or saxophone or scatting, however I actually like scatting on that track.”
The story goes that Scott wrote ‘Fall into You” whereas on a bus journey from New York to Boston, with no devices at hand.
“I normally write on piano,” he stated. “Writing with out an instrument is tough, but it surely has its benefits. It type of forces you to be extra melodic. I had a pocket book on the bus, and wrote the melodic stuff out, together with many of the lyrics. Once I got here house, I fleshed out the lyrics and added a second verse, and after taking part in it on the piano, didn’t change it very a lot. It just about ended up the best way it initially sounded in my head.”
“Thornewood” is obtainable in CD format on Bandcamp, and digitally at all the standard streaming websites.
David Thorne Scott performs a dwell ATAC live performance, being streamed on Fb Dwell, YouTube, Twitch and ATAC160.org on April 13 at 7 p.m. It’s free, however donations – which can be break up between Scott and ATAC – are inspired.
Ed Symkus might be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.