Tom Scott: Tom Cat

The Songs:

  1. Rock Island Rocket
  2. Tom Cat
  3. Day Way
  4. Keep On Doin’ It
  5. Love Poem
  6. Good Evening Mr. & Mrs. America & All The Ships At Sea
  7. Backfence Cattin’
  8. Mondo
  9. Refried

Personnel:

  • Tom Scott – saxophones, lyricon
  • Larry Nash – keyboards
  • Robben Ford – guitar
  • Max Bennett – bass
  • John Guerin – drums
  • Joni Mitchell – vocals (Track 5)

Tom Scott was only in his teens when he recorded his first albums and played on the first recordings of the Don Ellis orchestra in the mid-60’s. He went on to become one of the most in-demand West Coast session player, composer, and music director. (He played classic solos on albums by George Harrison, Steely Dan, Carole King, Paul McCartney, Toto, and others.) After a few albums for ABC/Impulse, he recorded his debut album with his new band, the L.A. Express, for CBS/Ode in 1973. The original band included Joe Sample and Larry Carlton from the Crusaders and featured several catchy jazz-funk pieces. After the first album, Sample and Carlton left and were replaced by Larry Nash and scorching blues guitarist Robben Ford. After a tour backing up Joni Mitchell, (during which they recorded her classic live album Miles Of Aisles), they released the album Tom Cat, on which Mitchell appears on one cut.

Tom Cat is a classic 70’s fusion album with great playing by this superstar band, (which also included jazz session veterans Max Bennett and John Guerin). Each member of the band is represented by at least one composition, some of which have become classics, such as Bennett’s “Rock Island Rocket” and Guerin’s “Good Evening Mr. & Mrs. America”. After spending time in the original Blues Brothers band and serving as musical director for the two short-lived late TV shows hosted by Pat Sajak and Chevy Chase, Scott went on to issue several unadventurous smooth jazz albums, with an occasional straight ahead album every now and then just to remind people that he could really play. Most of his output since has yet to equal this great album. (Buy it here.)

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