Shirley Scott, Queen of the Organ
March 1, 2015 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Shirley Scott was a hard bop and soul jazz master of the Hammond B-3. She was a gifted composer, combo leader, and prolific recording artist, releasing the majority of her 40+ albums from the late 1950s to the late 1970s:

Her first album, Great Scott!, came out in 1958 and includes the haunting track The Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But Some Pain, which she also wrote and sang. It was one of the few times her singing voice was recorded.

She swings Sister Sadie, from 1961’s Shirley Scott Plays Horace Silver.

Her 1964 album Everybody Loves A Lover features her composition, Shirley.

Here is her 1966 album On A Clear Day, which includes two of her compositions, Cold Winter Blues and Instant Blues.

She is decidedly groovy on More Today Than Yesterday, from her 1969 album Shirley Scott & The Soul Saxes.

Scott is also well-known for her work with husband and tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, recording several albums with him from 1960-1969. (They would divorce in the early 1970s.) Here is their 1964 album, Hustlin’.

In addition, she recorded more than a dozen albums with tenor saxophone player Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis. Possibly the best known track from their collaboration was In The Kitchen, from Volume 1 of The Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis Cookbook, recorded in 1958.

In 1960, she and Davis performed on Mildred Anderson’s debut album Person to Person. (Track: I’m Free)

Shirley Scott was also a brilliant pianist, and in the decade leading up to her death, she focused more on the piano in her recordings and concerts. We are fortunate that one of her final organ performances was captured in San Francisco in 1996. She died in 2002 from heart failure due to damage from the drug fen-phen.

In 2012, a scholarship was established in her name at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, where she taught jazz history in the 1980s.

(Shirley Scott is not related to hard bop/soul jazz organist Rhoda Scott.)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide (9 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
I only recently discovered the joys of Scott’s playing via The Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis Cookbook (I particularly love their version of But Beautiful). I had no idea what a fine singing voice she had: I look forward to checking out the rest of these links. Many thanks, ODS!
posted by misteraitch at 5:03 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am delighted to discover this musician, who I have never heard of until this post. Listening now, to The Blues Ain’t Nothin’ But Some Pain. Digging her.

Thanks, Orange Dinosaur Slide.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:20 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did we get this one in?

With Count Basie, who plays almost not at all, but gives her the most absolutely crucial support and enhancement. It's a small miracle.
posted by Wolof at 5:42 AM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

For more on jazz organ in general, see here.
posted by BWA at 6:41 AM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

posted by Minus215Cee at 6:50 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

A bunch of people are crashed out here from a party last night. I'm the first one up at 10 AM. Just started my Sunday on the street of dreams with Ms. Scott and Mr. Basie. Oh yeah.
posted by in278s at 7:14 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Great, thanks very much, Orange Dinosaur Slide!
posted by carter at 8:00 AM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

> Shirley Scott is not related to hard bop/soul jazz organist Rhoda Scott.

Nor to the great Jimmy Scott.
posted by ardgedee at 6:15 PM on March 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Many thanks, Orange Dinosaur Slide for the Shirley Scott 101. (She'd always kind of been there & I knew she was married to Mr Turrentine, but that was about it.....)
posted by On the Corner at 1:09 AM on March 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older The Weird Al Yankovic Namesake Sandwich He Never...   |   ❄ ☁ ☀ ☂ Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments