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Editorial Reviews

Like almost every single album bearing the name and inimitable voice of this rare jazz treasure, this reissue covering Jimmy Scott's on-again, off-again relationship with Savoy Records has both its highlights and its low points. Of course, no amount of treachery or ineptitude has ever muffled Scott's long-lined, behind-the-beat ballad singing, which often sounds like a woman's. His is an absolutely original voice and one of the most ambrosial acquired tastes in all of jazz history. Recorded mostly in the 1950s and early '60s, this set showcases Scott in his prime, capable of blowing the roof off a ballad like "The Loneliest House on the Street" or whisperingly caressing a sad tune like "Please Forgive Me." For collectors, this 66-track, three-disc set includes nine unreleased tracks and 15 that were released only as singles. On the downside, there are more blurry photos here than in any other boxed set in recorded history, and the liner notes are breezy and incomplete. Still, if you've been bitten by the Scott bug--or are curious about his ongoing buzz--every single disc, this set included, is nothing short of essential. --Robert Baird

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