By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
First things first: Jimmy Scott sounds like a woman when he sings. He's afflicted with Kallmann's syndrome, which prevents puberty from occurring naturally, and his voice never broke. Scott also sounds like a heart breaking in two when he sings. From his 1950 debut on Lionel Hampton's hit "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" to his 2002 album But Beautiful, Scott has specialized in the song sung blue, songs of loves lost and loves never to be.
The unique jazz stylist is currently touring in support of Falling In Love Is Wonderful. For contractual reasons, the album, which was originally released on Ray Charles' Tangerine label in 1962, was withdrawn almost immediately from circulation [Carlos Wolff, "Forty-Year Itch," November 27, 2002]. Rhino Handmade recently reissued it in a limited-edition run of 7,500. Featuring standards such as "They Say It's Wonderful" and "Someone to Watch Over Me," Falling boasts Charles on piano. Although Charles isn't touring with Scott -- Scott's touring combo consists of Jon Regen on piano, Hilliard Greene on bass and Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax on drums -- you're sure to hear some of the gems the two men created together.
If you want to see the vocalist that Nancy Wilson has called her biggest influence, you'd be well advised to check out one of the shows this weekend at Jazz at the Bistro. "Little" Jimmy Scott -- who was just under five feet tall until his mid-thirties, when he suddenly grew eight inches -- is 75 years old. Sadly, you just can't count on too many return engagements.