Highly, Highly Recommended Album: RAYMOND SCOTT REIMAGINED (Quartet San Francisco, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band & Take 6)

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by Tony Frankel on June 18, 2023

in CD-DVD,Music


The label Violinjazz Recordings has digitally released two tracks of Raymond Scott Reimagined (see videos below), an entirely successful new collaboration teaming Quartet San Francisco with musical polymath (and genius arranger, if I may say so) Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band, plus the stunning a capella group Take 6 and The Raymond Scott Archives. The full album arrives via Violinjazz/The Orchard/Sony on July 21, 2023 (pre-order here). I’m rather certain you will recognize snatches of melody from Warner Bros.’ cartoons under the interchangeable headings Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, both produced by Leon Schlesinger. Though Scott (see bio here) never scored cartoon soundtracks, his music is familiar to millions because Carl Stalling adapted his music for the shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, et al.

This thrilling, fun, whimsical, uplifting, toe-tapping winner has 14 tracks, five of which are insightful snippets from Scott interviews with his music underscoring. The other eight jazzy tracks are Goodwin’s fresh — and I do mean FRESH — arrangements of eight Scott classics, including mainstays “Powerhouse,” “Huckleberry Duck,” “The Quintette Goes to a Dance” and “In an 18th Century Drawing Room.” Goodwin also introduces an entirely brand new composition, “Cutey and the Dragon,” which was crafted from an unfinished sketch Scott made in 1982 with Goodwin completing the composition in a manner that honors the great composer’s style and verve.

Another highlight is “Twilight in Turkey,” which features Don Williams on timpani, along with Wade Culbreth on mallet percussion. Goodwin said, “This is special because Don’s father Johnny Williams was the drummer for the Raymond Scott Quintette. He is also the father of film composer John Williams. Don was able to allow us the use of his father’s cowbell and tom toms, so this track has a direct and unique connection to this music’s creator.”

Raymond Scott Reimagined

1. Powerhouse [5:21]
2. Raymond Scott on the Creative Process (R. Scott, spoken word) [1:00]
3. Toy Trumpet [3:41]
4. In an 18th Century Drawing Room [3:36]
5. Raymond Scott on Rehearsing the Quintette (R. Scott, spoken word) [0:36]
6. Cutey and the Dragon [5:01]
7. Huckleberry Duck [6:12]
8. “I Remember Nothing of That” (R. Scott and Art Shifrin, spoken word) [0:37]
9. The Quintette Goes to a Dance [5:36]
10. Yesterday’s Ice Cubes [3:49]
11. Quintessentially American (R. Scott and John Williams, spoken word) [1:10]
12. Twilight in Turkey [5:44]
13. “I’m an Experimentalist” (R. Scott, spoken word) [0:36]
14. Serenade [4:58]


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