In a perfect world, jazz music as a form of entertainment would be such a great topic of conversation, radio as a medium of conveyance would not be needed to popularize any artist. In a less than perfect world and even in the world we currently live, neither radio nor word of mouth is enough to sustain jazz. One would not have to go underground to find out about the latest and best jazz available. More than not, jazz aficionados have to beat the bushes or search far and wide to achieve any level of satisfaction. Nowadays whenever a promising CD rises to the top, hope for the future of jazz becomes apparent. One CD in particular reveals saxophonist Randy Scott, who does provides a refreshing change from the mundane. His latest CD entitled Breathe seems to revitalize the often overdone generic music known as smooth jazz.
Breathe is Randy’s fourth release overall and he continues a formula that has pushed him beyond the limits of most of his smooth jazz contemporaries. As an artist, his exposure to classical music and Grover Washington Jr. laid a foundation that has forced him to see beyond the mutable sound clicks often heard over radio’s airwaves. In addition, playing gigs with the likes of Nancy Wilson, Ronnie Laws and Hiroshima further cut a path for Randy to follow. This latest CD is a culmination of everything qualified to be practical, especially so in a genre of music that defies the laws of spontaneity and improvisation. But make no mistake about this new recording, Randy has taken the necessary precautions to allow for lasting entertainment value. Breathe is subtle in approach beginning with the track entitled "Breathe. However, Randy’s upbeat treatment of "Bliss" and "The Thought of You" also sheds light on his ability to set a tone for simplified groove-oriented rhythms. Over the course of 12 insightful tracks, Randy Scott acquaints anyone within earshot of Breathe with the idea that he is not just another saxophonist playing smooth jazz.Although the overall content of Breathe is likable, Randy gets bogged down at some intervals. Of the 12 associated tracks, ten are nice and easy. The challenge for any jazz artist nowadays is to go against the grain of the expected. That is not always easy, especially so when considering what is popular these days. If Scott did push the envelope of improvisational jazz, he would definitely move pass smooth and into the world of contemporary jazz. If Grover Washington Jr. is his influence, then Randy would know that Grover did not always play things safe. In fact, he became one of modern day jazz’s most influential contributors and one of contemporary jazz’s founding fathers. In the future, saxophonist Randy Scott should take his talent another further and to a higher level of expressiveness. But by and large, Breathe is entertaining, likable and exhibits a skill set with volumes of potential influence.