Holding Back the Years
Jimmy Scott, the diminutive jazz vocalist with an effete, quavering voice, will not suit everyone’s taste. But for those who get it, his vulnerability, and the way he means and feels every lyric, is about as soul baring as music gets. Holding Back the Years, cut when Scott was 73, finds him embracing a program culled mostly from the modern pop and rock realm, a departure from his usual MO of singing chestnuts. He subtly recasts the melodies of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy,” the Simply Red title track and others, giving each a hushed ballad treatment backed by an acoustic rhythm section and occasional strings. Have a hankie handy.