****RINGERS OF THE WEEK****SINGING FOR THE LONELY…Jimmy Scott: I Go Back Home, Keely Smith: The Intimate Keely Smith

Albums for when the lights are low, the room is empty and you need to think.

Jimmy Scott’s life and music was put into a documentary film of the same title as this album by Ralf Kemper. I have not seen the film, but the music itself more than holds up on its own. It features the sui generis voice of Scott teamed with a number of compatriots in a smoky and reflective collection.

Some of the pieces are tributes to the fragile vocalist, such as “I Remember You” with Monica Mancini and Arturo Sandoval, and James Moody reflecting on “Everybody is Somebody’s Fool.” There is a moving duet with surprisingly similar voiced Joe Pesci dueting on a haunting “The Nearness of You” while the actor goes it alone on”Folks Who Live On The Hill.” Scott also teams up with B3er Joey DeFrancesco on a shadowy “Motherless Child” and a duet with Oscar Castro Neves is disarmingly intimate on ”Love Letters.” Heart on sleeves for this one.

Keely Smith is usually associated with either Las Vegas Lounge acts or extroverted swing with Louis Prima. This reissue of a 1964 album finds her in a uniquely reflective and subtle mood. Her voice is subdued, soft and vulnerable on this late night album. Pieces like “God Bless the Child” and “Blame it On My Youth” sound deeply personal. The ringer, however, is a deep and blue duet with Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle on “Twin Soliloquies” which will stick with you for quite awhile. This album is as successful as it is surprising-you’ll be amazed how many times you go back to it.




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