Match a classic song stylist with a deep love for jazz, blues, soul, timeless melodies and lyrics, and a magical genre-defying transcendence cant help but blossom. Over the course of eight previous recordings Marilyn Scott has established herself as one of contemporary music's premiere singer/songwriters - carrying on a quiet but steady love affair with the great American songbook. Her rendition of "The Look Of Love" from 1998's "Avenues of Love" earned producer George Duke a Grammy nomination for best arrangement with a vocal and earlier recordings feature stunning versions of the classics "The Summer Knows" "You Don't Know Me" and "You Don't Know What Love Is."
"Handpicked" Marilyn's ninth CD is exactly that - a handpicked selection of Marilyn's favorite songs from throughout her career chosen by Marilyn in conjunction with input from retailers across the country who were requesting that key tracks from various releases be made available on one CD. A unique collaboration between an artist and the community which supports her "Handpicked" includes the Grammy-nominated "The Look of Love" (written by Marilyn & George Duke) as well as the two never-before-released in the U.S. songs "In Your Eyes" (Peter Gabriel) and "Understanding Love" (written by Marilyn and Joe Vannelli).
Marilyn's flirtation with pop standards evolved beautifully into the musical equivalent of a life-changing romance on her second Prana Entertainment release (and eighth CD) "Nightcap". The collection found her in a swinging blues and jazzy way exploring in an acoustic setting "Eight songs I"ve been holding onto in my heart." She recorded with a handful of old friends who happen to be some of Los Angeles' most acclaimed musicians and jazz performers - George Duke both produced and arranged the album while adding his special blend of keyboard work; and the album also featured the support of Vinnie Colaiuta (Drums) Ray Fuller (Guitar) Brian Bromberg (Acoustic Bass) the Brazilian guitar work of Dori Caymmi and the legendary Dean Parks (guitar). Horn work included Brandon Fields (Sax) Dan Higgins (Flute and Sax) Rick Baptist (Trumpet) and the percussion sound of Lenny Castro.
A consummate songwriter Marilyn has co-written material over the years with some of contemporary jazz's greatest artists including George Duke Brenda Russell the Yellowjackets' Bob Mintzer Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip Terri Lyne Carrington Dori Caymmi and Bobby Caldwell. "Nightcap" also marked a deepening creative relationship between Scott and Duke the legendary R&B/Jazz keyboardist and producer who played pivotal roles performing co-writing and producing individual tracks on 'take Me With You" (1996) and "Avenues of Love" (1998). Together they found the balance of songs and styles and Duke added new freshness to these classic arrangements. True to both of their jazz leanings the two wrote improvisational endings both lyrical and musically to all of the songs allowing the singer to give more of herself to these versions.
Though Marilyn is humbled to be singing so many cherished works of other songwriters she has a few songs in her own catalog that have enjoyed an extraordinary cultural and inspirational impact beyond the confines of airplay success. Her recording of Brenda Russell's "The Last Day" from "Avenues of Love" explored someone's last moments in life and was used by the American Red Cross. In April 2000 she joined Garth Brooks Melissa Etheridge k.d. Lang and the Pet Shop Boys at the Equality Rocks concert in Washington D.C. where she debuted her anthem for tolerance "No Room For Hate". Co-written with Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip the song inspired the No Room For Hate Campaign which led to Marilyn's co-founding of The Prana Foundation a non-profit organization whose first campaign was to provide funding for anti-bias education for children. In early 2004 the Foundation partnered with the Anti-Defamation League in Los Angeles to help launch a program the Miller Early Childhood Initiative which provides anti-bias training for teachers caregivers and parents of pre-school children ages 3-5.
The California native's awareness of the unique possibilities of blending music with social consciousness began with her teenage experience of seeing many legends onstage including the likes of Jimi Hendrix Otis Redding Aretha Franklin Janis Joplin and Etta James. Marilyn performed with working bands that provided her experience with jazz and R&B forming friendships with musicians and singers that to this day remain a growing exchange. "I will always consider my friendship with the members of Tower of Power to be the most influential as they helped teach me how to work in the studio and how to be a session vocalist. I am proud to be part of their recordings."
Marilyn's solo career began with a cover of the Beach Boys "God Only Knows." The recording featured David Paitch the Porcaro brothers and the Tower of Power horn section. It hit the Billboard Top 100 which then led to her first album "Dreams of Tomorrow" produced by James Stroud. While building momentum with the Michael Sembello production "Without Warning" Marilyn also began movie work contributing to the soundtracks from 'torch Song Trilogy" (singing "Skylark") and from 'twins' with "I Only Have Eyes For You". She continued to be an integral part of the adult contemporary landscape throughout the 90's and into 2002 with songs such as "You Don't Know Me" "I'm Calling You" "The Last Day" and "Don't Let Love Get Away."
"Like all artists I"ve had my share of ups and downs but the opportunity to work and be friends with some of the greatest musicians in the world has always inspired me to keep making music" Scott says. "When people like the music we make we realize that it really can make a difference. With each new recording I am able to further connect with old fans and make new ones and that's a blessing."
Marilyn is currently in the studio working on a new record with George Duke Patrice Rushen Renato Neto and others. It too promises to defy the jazz/pop singer-songwriter mode and venture into areas previously untouched by Scott. The as yet to-be-titled CD is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2006 by Prana Entertainment.