Five years after his first volume of standards, But Beautiful, debuted at # 1 on the Billboard Jazz chart, GRAMMY award winning musician Boz Scaggs offers his second volume of standards and ballads, aptly titled Speak Low (out September 30 on vinyl and wide release on October 28th via Decca).
The multi-dimensional singer, whose 1976 album Silk Degrees was one of the landmark pop titles of the decade, began working on Speak Low several years ago. He'd settled on most of the material, and had developed a rough notion of the sound in his head. I had a few distinct elements I wanted to hear paired with my voice, Scaggs recalls, but I needed an arranger who could bring those textures to life. He remembers wondering whether he'd ever realize the sound he'd imagined. And then he experienced what he describes as a remarkable coincidence. It was raining, cold out. I walked by the Blue Note and heard music coming out of the club. It was vibes, string trio, a couple of horns this was the sound Id been hearing in my head, exactly. Turned out to be Gil Goldstein and a nonet. After the set Gil and I started talking, and it was just a really nice meeting. When we got together around a piano, that was it. We knew.
The album was recorded at Skywalker Sound, a state-of-the-art studio thats part of filmmaker George Lucas Skywalker Ranch complex. The room is massive, a soundstage big enough to fit an orchestra. Yet Speak Low sounds like it was made in someones cozy living room. The sense of intimacy you get there is quite remarkable, Scaggs says. You think you can get closer to the music in a smaller room, but that's not always true. At Skywalker, the vastness brought us all together. The quiets in that room are much quieter, and all of the dynamics are really vivid. Its a great room to sing in.
Fans can experience the intimacy of this album live as Scaggs embarks on a nationwide tour this fall with multiple shows in most of the cities. This special tour will bring Scaggs to legendary jazz clubs across the country where hell not only perform the standards from Speak Low but hell debut new versions of fan favorites like Lowdown, JoJo, and Lido Shuffle.
BOZ SCAGGS TOUR DATES:
October 28 Napa Valley Opera House Napa, CA
October 30 Jazz Alley Seattle, WA
October 31 Jazz Alley* Seattle, WA
November 1 Jazz Alley* Seattle, WA
November 2 Jazz Alley Seattle, WA
November 5 Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant* Minneapolis, MN
November 6 Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant* Minneapolis, MN
November 7 UCO Jazz Club* Edmond, OK
November 10 Blue Note* New York City, NY
November 11 Blue Note* New York City, NY
November 14 Blue Note* New York City, NY
November 15 Blue Note* New York City, NY
November 16 Blue Note* New York City, NY
November 19 Blue Alley* Washington, DC
November 20 Ram's Head on Stage* Annapolis, MD
November 23 Wilbur Theatre* Boston, MA
* Indicates two performances
This story appears courtesy of Special Ops Media.
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