Boz Scaggs: Speak Low (Decca)

 |   |  1 min read

Boz Scaggs: Ballad of the Sad Young Men
Boz Scaggs: Speak Low (Decca)

With his classic blue-eyed pop-soul albums of the mid and late 70s -- Silk Degrees and Down Two Then Left -- Scaggs brought a slippery rhythmic sensibility to his singing and, with famed jazz and studio musicians backing him, managed to cross effortlessly between the pop, r’n’b and soul charts.

Over the decades he moved further into material from the Great American Songbook (Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart, Ellington and so on) -- and this one from 2008 (again with some of LA’s finest studio players including arranger/pianist Gil Goldstein) continues in that vein.

It has been given re-release (or maybe just release, there’s hardly been a demand for his recent albums) in advance of New Zealand concerts with Michael McDonald and Mick Fleetwood.

On stage he’ll doubtless favour his hits (Lido, Lowdown, Hollywood) because this dim-lights collection offers a more intimate mood as he takes that distinctive voice through Ellington’s Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, Hoagy Carmichael’s Skylark, the slightly swinging title track and lovely, slow material such as Ballad of All the Sad Young Men and Dindi.

These are adventurous arrangements beautifully played and Scaggs makes it sound effortless -- and while the audience at the gigs will want the old songs, this might appeal more at home when the kids have grabbed the car keys and gone out for the night.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ned Collette and Wirewalker: Over the Stones, Under the Stars (Fabric/Rhythmethod)

Ned Collette and Wirewalker: Over the Stones, Under the Stars (Fabric/Rhythmethod)

When Australian Ned Collette's previous album Future Suture appeared at Elsewhere the closing line was "check this guy out". I suspect few did, even though he visited New Zealand a couple... > Read more

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1925-1942 (Rhythmandblues/Southbound 4 CD Set)

Various Artists: The History of Rhythm and Blues 1925-1942 (Rhythmandblues/Southbound 4 CD Set)

From the opening track on this remarkable collection -- a testifying scream of faith recorded in 1934 which calls to mind Little Richard and Hasel Adkins as much as African chants -- you are... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

RICHARD NUNNS INTERVIEWED (2003): The questions are blowing in the wind

RICHARD NUNNS INTERVIEWED (2003): The questions are blowing in the wind

The late Hirini Melbourne, who died of cancer in January '03 aged 53, opened a window on the past which has allowed others to see a future. Through his work with fellow musicologist Richard... > Read more

The Knack: And How To Lose It

The Knack: And How To Lose It

Okay, this is how I remember The Knack and its lead singer Doug Feiger, but it was a long time ago so the memory may be dodgy. It was August 13, 1979 to be exact and the ads boasted "biggest... > Read more