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My Favorite Composer (Today) — Raymond Scott

Holy moley, this man never ceased to amaze me. Great melodies, stunning arrangements. Every tune of his is something I want to perform.

Being somewhat of a techno-geek, Scott transitioned into electronic music around the 50’s, often using instruments of his own design. I feel this music lacks the vitality of his earlier work, but it’s worth noting how progressive he was.

Sadly, he is under-appreciated by both jazz fans, for discouraging improv in his live ensembles, and by classical aficcionados, for utilizing harmonies and rhythms derived largely from “hot” swing. Although he was big in his day, he is all but forgotten now, except among Zorn and Zappa-inspired hipsters that crave novelty.

If you care at all about good music, you would be doing yourself a huge favor by obtaining the compilation Restless Nights and Turkish Twighlights. It’s one of my “desert island” albums, and a historical milestone. You may wish to get it on CD, for its vastly informative liner notes.

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