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That PI Day in Music 3.14.34 – “The Queen of the Organ” – Shirley Scott was born!!

So the other morning, after I woke up from the crash that was a result of having had virtually no sleep the night before, as we waited for the birth of grandson,Oliver, I was looking at the jazz birthdays. Now if you remember, the night before I had posted about saxophonist Jeff Hackworth, and how his sax sounds like Stanley Turrentine and how like Stanley, Jeff often plays in an organ trio setting and how I thought that was neat because Stanley had played so often with Jimmy Smith. Well what the un-jazz educated Edward didn’t know was that in the 1960s Stanley Turrentine was married to and recorded a series of albums with jazz-organist Shirley Scott! (They divorced in 1969) From AllMusic:

Scott married soul-jazz tenor man Stanley Turrentine, with whom she often recorded in the ’60s. TheScott/Turrentine union lasted until the early ’70s, and their musical collaborations in the ’60s were among the finest in the field.

Again, I discovered this association because Shirley Scott was born on March 14th in Philadelphia in 1934! Now on Friday morning the name Shirley Scott, along with the fact, that she was known as “Queen of the Organ” was unfamiliar to me. Now as I think about it the name sounds familiar, but little of the rest of the story is, so here is some of it from Wikipedia:

In the 1950s she became known for her work (1956–1959) with the saxophone player Eddie Davis, particularly on the song “In the Kitchen”. She was married to Stanley Turrentine and played with him from 1960 to 1969. Later, she led her own group, mostly a trio. Saxophonist Harold Vick often played with her.

In the 1980s, she became a jazz educator and became a highly known and respected member of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s jazz community.[2]

Scott died of heart failure in 2002,[1] which was hastened by the diet drug fen-phen. Scott won an $8 million settlement in February 2000 against American Home Products, the manufacturers of the drug cocktail.[2]

So how did I miss Shirley’s music since she recorded over 40 albums as a leader!! The only possible explanation comes from her biography at AllMusic:

Scott wasn’t as visible the following decade, when the popularity of organ combos decreased and labels were more interested in fusion and pop-jazz (though she did record some albums for Chess/Cadet and Strata East). But organists regained their popularity in the late ’80s, which found her recording for Muse

Oh so she recorded the majority of her music in the 60s, when jazz was not a big part of my musical listening, a few albums in th 70s and then not again until the later 80s, when I was in my child-rearing stage! Ok so it kinda explains how I missed her, but after listening to her music, I have a lot of catching up to do!!

So let’s start now with – Shirley’s organ accompanying the sax of Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis on the song “In the Kitchen”….

Links and Sources
Wikipedia
AllMusic
All About Jazz