Collecting Things, the title of Mike Scott’s engaging, multi-faceted third album, taps into the heart of the compositional process where the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic muses first take hold. For the veteran guitarist, who’s been an integral part of the LA Jazz scene for more than two decades, every fleshed-out composition starts with those fresh little ideas he would spontaneously record as voice memos.
On the new collection, featuring his spirited and soulfully swinging crew of fellow stalwarts Joe Bagg (organ), Darek “Oles” Oleskiewicz and Jake Reed (drums), Scott – playing electric, classical and acoustic guitars - turns his collection of inspired notions and musical nuggets into pure gold that’s alternately sensitive, romantic, exotic, funky and freewheeling.
Beyond the way he and his quartet turn ideas into emotionally impactful, full-fledged productions, the real magic is the way the nimble guitarist weaves so many styles together to form, as per the title concept, a deeply cohesive collection.
Along the way, his “collectibles” include a speedy, richly improvisational waltz (“Sol Minor”) based on G-tuning of his axe’s third open string; a slow burning traditional electric blues (“Jack’s Dilemma”) dedicated to his dog; the bustling, intensely percussive traditional jazz romp “Boom Diddle It”; two sparsely arranged, beautifully melodic Brazilian flavored tunes showcasing Scott’s classical guitar prowess, the meditational ballad “Dark Bossa” and the brisk, quirky “Rondo”; a haunting, deeply hypnotic blues-rock ballad ("Coda"); and a lighthearted twist on the classic “On a Clear Day,” whose rhythm evolves from a whimsical polyrhythmic pattern into a colorful, improvisational swing party.
Considering that it’s been ten years since his last album Fallen Peach, let’s hope he starts building a new collection of muse in the moment voice memos very soon!