June 14, 2014

CLOSER TO HOME:

Jimmy Scott: a voice from another world : Sufjan Stevens on a unique jazz singer (Sufjan Stevens, 1/23/10, The Observer)

"A few years ago, my friend Daniel Smith [of indie oddballs Danielson Famile] invited me to the Tin Angel, a tiny club in Philadelphia, to hear Jimmy Scott. I had no clue who he was, but I was blown away. He sang in this lilting, odd, almost grandmotherly voice, but it was also so youthful. It was like he was extremely old and extremely young simultaneously.

"Afterwards, Daniel loaned me a live record, with If You Only Knew, Very Truly Yours, and Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child on it. That's the track that kills me every time I hear it. I already knew the song, but I've never heard it like that. It almost sounds like he's singing in a different time signature or tempo, and yet he's very deliberately placing his phrases in all of these bizarre upbeats. Everything is so suspended, his voice just drifts.



Posted by at June 14, 2014 7:58 AM
  
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