2008 LiveDaily

Boz Scaggs takes 'Speak Low' for a spin

Published August 29, 2008 05:08 AM

Kym Kilgore / LiveDaily Contributor

Boz Scaggs has mapped out a fall tour of intimate jazz clubs to showcase material from his first new studio album in five years.

The veteran singer/songwriter is in the midst of a summer trek that continues Sept. 2 in Regina, Saskatchewan. He'll make his away across the US through mid-October, and then launch his jazz club outing Oct. 28 in Napa, CA. The eight-city fall tour includes five nights in New York City, four in Seattle and a two-night stand in Minneapolis. Plus, most dates feature two performances. Scaggs' full itinerary is listed below.

Five years after his first volume of standards, "But Beautiful," topped Billboard's jazz chart, Scaggs returns to the genre with the forthcoming "Speak Low." The set, co-produced with Grammy-winner Gil Goldstein, finds Scaggs interpreting classics including Johnny Mercer's "This Time The Dream's On Me," Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" and Rodgers and Hart's "She Was Too Good To Me."

In addition to Goldstein on piano/keyboards, the album's lineup includes percussionist Alex Acuna, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, bassist Scott Colley, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and a small studio orchestra. Scaggs credits the musicians for realizing the sound he's had in his head for years - a sound of fleeting textures.

"So many people in the last decade have gone back to the standards; the list is as long as my arm. Lots of them with big orchestras, too," Scaggs said in his bio. "It seemed pointless to even go there unless we were going to do something to make these songs our own... We had to find an emotional connection. It's a testament to the songs themselves that they keep getting redone, but that makes it tricky, too. We played around a lot with different tempos and feels, pushed the songs in different directions."

"Speak Low" is due Sept. 30 on vinyl and is scheduled for wide release Oct. 28.

Scaggs began his solo recording career in 1969 and began a long-term association with Columbia Records a year later. His 1976 commercial breakthrough, "Silk Degrees," reached No. 2 on the US album chart and spawned the hits "Lowdown," "Lido Shuffle," "Georgia," "We're All Alone" and "It's Over." "Lowdown," which Scaggs co-wrote with David Paich, earned a Grammy for Best R&B song.

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