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Boz Scaggs Tackling Standards on New Album

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Boz Scaggs is staying on the standards path for his next album.

Scaggs -- who's currently finalizing a label deal for the planned September release of Speak Low the follow-up to 2003's But Beautiful is “a sort of progressive, experimental effort ... along the lines of some of the ideas that Gil Evans explored."

Scaggs says the set features “unusual instrumentation" that includes a string trio, bass woodwinds and harp. “It was very challenging to me as a vocalist," he notes.

Songs on the album include Chet Baker's “She Was Too Good To Be True," Johnny Mercer's “This Time the Dream's on Me," the oft-recorded Billy Taylor/Dick Dallas hit “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" and the Kurt Weill/Ogden Nash title track. Scaggs says he and collaborator Gil Goldstein considered nearly 50 songs and recorded 17 for the project.

“I'm a vocalist," Scaggs says. “I come more out of a blues/rhythm & blues background, but this is a different way of using my voice, and much more musically challenging and adventurous for me."

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