I wasn't planning on this one, but after I finished up with Roy Haynes yesterday, I figured out Pi Day today was featuring another big time birthday and I didn't wanna miss it.
Today's soul sister was a native of Philadelphia, and got her start in the late 1950s in the band of sax monster Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis.
At the advent of the Sixties she joined the band of Stanley Turrentine, another reed deity who became, for a time, her husband.
This was back in the era of the organ trio, and our hero was as much a part of it as anyone you could name.
The two divorced and she continued recording into the 1970s, but organ trios were out of vogue and she didn't record from the mid-'70s until the mid-1980s.
Famous for her reserved, silky melodic flair and pulsing pedal work, she had a touch that was instantly recognizable from just a few notes.
An illness brought on by a then-popular diet drug began to take its toll, and she sued the manufacturer in 1998, winning an 8 million dollar settlement.
She passed away in 2002 and has been gone from us for nearly 20 years, but no one can forget the music of Shirley Scott, who was born this day in 1934.
Sadly, most of the masters of her albums were lost in that infamous Universal Studios fire in 2008.
Several of them, criminally, have never been reissued in the digital age and because of the fire, they may never be.
Like One for Me from 1974 for instance... her only LP for the ultra-tremendous Strata-East label.
Lucky for you, I located a delicious 24/48 vinyl transfer of it, which I minimally denoised and converted to 16/44 CD audio... and placed into the cloudy place for you to access right here.
As for archival/unreleased performances, there aren't a lot. In fact, there's just this wild 25 minute snippet from European radio taped alongside yet another saxophone colossus and frequent collaborator of hers, David "Fathead" Newman, in 1996.
Shirley Scott/David "Fathead" Newman Trio
Copenhagen Jazz Festival
01 FM intro
02 It's You or No One
04 Teach Me Tonight
Total time: 24:23
Shirley Scott - Hammond B3 organ
David "Fathead" Newman - tenor saxophone & flute
Bobby Durham - drums & vocals
off-air FM master cassette
160 MB FLAC/March 2020 archive link
Someday perhaps if we hold our breath and count to ten in Danish, the rest of the show will get rebroadcast and some intrepid geek will capture it for posterity.
Anyway I will return soon with something completely unrelated to this, but I wanted to mark what would have been the 86th birthday of Shirley Scott today, and urge you to pluck both of these gems and let your Saturday sizzle with soul!--J.
3.14.1934 - 3.10.2002