Marilyn Scott,
Innocent of Nothing
(Prana Ent, 2006)

Marilyn Scott goes beyond taking another trip into the overplowed field of the Great American Songbook. In Innocent of Nothing, her 11th CD, only "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" might be considered a standard. Monk's "'Round Midnight" is rarely vocalized, and Bob Dylan's "It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding," given a moody treatment here, is not known as a jazz staple.

Scott co-wrote seven of the 10 tracks. The best two are those written with keyboardist Russell Ferrante. The opener, "Round & Round," is a tuneful look at the fast pace of modern life. "The Wilderness" is a paean to the world of nature missed by city dwellers.

The only poor songs are the last two, co-written with producer George Duke. "A Flame" repeats the uninspiring lines "You drive me crazy / When you call me baby," while "A Change" is a hackneyed plea for how "things gotta change."

Scott does not have an especially distinctive voice, but it is a clear, well-modulated one quite suited for jazz. Along with Ferrante and Duke, there are a number of familiar musicians here. The sound is smooth without being bland, easygoing but containing some thoughtful lyrics.

This CD should appeal to both jazz and pop listeners. Scott proves that at least with singing, experience is a lot better than innocence.

by Dave Howell
28 April 2007

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