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Revealing an Elegant, Sophisticated Sweet Spot Where Jazz and Americana Coexist, Singer David Thorne Scott Explores "if blazing bebop trumpet and weeping steel guitar could play nicely together"; AMERICAN SONGWRITER PREMIERES: "He fearlessly merges leg
(Published: November 24, 2020)

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2020




Revealing an Elegant, Sophisticated Sweet Spot Where Jazz and Americana Coexist, Singer David Thorne Scott Explores "if blazing bebop trumpet and weeping steel guitar could play nicely together"



Eclectic Mix of Songs Places Cole Porter and Harold Arlen Beside John Denver and Townes Van Zandt



AMERICAN SONGWRITER PREMIERES:

"He fearlessly merges legendary songwriters of different genres and generations"



‘Thornewood''s Powerful Vocals Evoke George Michael's ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1', as Lush Arrangements are a Throwback to a More Refined Era



"The fury that accompanies red-state-vs.-blue-state thinking in this country is not sustainable. Sooner or later we're going to have to recognize the humanity in each other. I want jazz fans to love the mournful hollow tone of wide-open spaces. And I want fans of Americana music to love the electric crackle of city nights."




On his upcoming album ‘Thornewood', singer David Thorne Scott creates an exhilarating mix and match of jazz and Americana, a reverent musical landscape where Cole Porter and Harold Arlen coexist next to John Denver and Townes Van Zandt. Set for January 8th, 2021 release, ‘Thornewood' features special guests including Paula Cole, Peter Eldridge, Jason Palmer, Walter Smith III and Sara Caswell.



The album is a joyful, sophisticated, dreamy collection. Scott's gorgeous cover of ‘In the Still of the Night' evokes George Michael on ‘Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1', and the song's arrangements are a throwback to a more elegant time and mindset. The vocal duet on ‘One for the Road' brings a new spirit to this classic track. ‘You Are There' has an infectious Broadway vibe and Scott's scat in 'The Dark Side' is so, so alive. On ‘Rocky Mountain High' his vocals soar, fitting for this beloved song.


AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE featured Scott and Exclusively Premiered his Cole Porter cover: "...It's the first single from his new album Thornewood, and it reflects David's embrace of the power of song to unite people. As Pete Seeger said, "All songwriters are links in a chain." His music and new album exemplify this connection, as he fearlessly merges legendary songwriters of different genres and generations. He invites Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Townes Van Zandt and John Denver all to the same party, and it's a great one." "We asked him to expound on his reasons for choosing this song by this singular songwriter, Cole Porter. It's good that we did, as his answer is inspirational, and aligns with our mission as well, to unify people with the glory of great songs, while also honoring songwriting itself, and the songwriters who persist in keeping this ancient art alive and healthy." The full article by Paul Zollo is here: https://americansongwrite...]



‘Thornewood' is a listener-friendly album that features both bebop trumpet and lap steel guitar, Jordanaires-inspired background vocals and more, yet the highlight again and again is Scott's incredible, rich voice.


David Thorne Scott shares these thoughts:

I've been an East Coast jazz guy for all of my adult life, but for me the music washes through the prairie grass of my home state of Nebraska. That duality has always made me a bit different. I'm usually either the hippest or the squarest person in the room.


This album is my attempt to reconcile these two sides of my soul. I wanted to see if blazing bebop trumpet and weeping steel guitar could play nicely together.


There are songs from the Great American Songbook, plainspoken Texas songwriters and slick film composers. My original songs are inspired musically by hard bop, lyrically by the Great Plains.



The fury that accompanies red-state-vs.-blue-state thinking in this country is not sustainable. Sooner or later we're going to have to recognize the humanity in each other. I want jazz fans to love the mournful hollow tone of wide-open spaces. And I want fans of Americana music to love the electric crackle of city nights."


Album overview and song notes by Mark Shilansky, pianist and co-producer

I think there are a number of concepts at play on this record; some were intentional, like using Americana touches over typical swing, funk, pop, or Latin grooves, or the fascination with the 70's singer/songwriter, probably Paul Simon most strongly. But I think what we wound up with is an exploration of a cross-section of American music, and a rumination about how Dave and this music fits in with it, and perhaps even a rumination on what it's like at our time in history, musical and otherwise.


Rocky Mountain High

Pat Metheny/Joni Mitchell watercolor style

A little on the nose don't you think? A young person's journey and how a place can seem like home immediately when it is a good fit, and an environmental message that is more timely than ever. In this one we were trying to dwell in that 70's place where Americana and Jazz were coming together in the music of Pat Metheny, with "Watercolors" and "80/81" and in the late 70's work of Joni Mitchell, with "Court and Spark" and "Shadows and Light" (a live album FEATURING Pat Metheny which was an important record for many of our generation).


If I Needed You

deep emotion and trust, given and reflected back

Dave loves Lyle Lovett and Townes Van Zandt and these kinds of Texas writers and thought this would be a great one to do with Paula, who had agreed to be on the record. The song is so simple, a "strophic form" with the same melody repeated, fertile ground for reharmonizing and adding interludes, but also easy to wreck by adding too many harmonies. We are also big Emmylou Harris fans and the way this came out reminds me of something that could be on "Wrecking Ball."


Fall into You

foolishly and carelessly in love

A Blue Note-ish tune with big Elvin Jonesy, tripletty drums, but putting Kevin Barry's guitars all over it gives it a dreamy, mysterious quality that evokes the lyrics more, and underscores how foolishly, carelessly in love the protagonist is.


In the Still of the Night

smooth and bubbly retro jazzy anthem

We'd been playing this as kind of a reggae tune for awhile and then when we added drums someone noticed that the Ahmad Jamal with Vernel Founier "Poinciana" groove had aspects in common with the reggae feel. There's a little New Orleans second line feel percolating under that groove and that mixes well with the off beat rhythm "skanks" that some of the chordal instruments play. Then we kept adding elements in different registers that interacted with each other: Kevin's baritone guitar melodies, the choir that smacks of the Jordanaires but also with the steel guitar floating around sounds like a Hollywood cowboy movie, and then Jason is bebopping over all that, with all the elements in conversation.


You Are There

i miss you so much i can only pretend you are there

Dave Frishberg writes witty, comic lyrics and detail-oriented, Tom Lehrer-esque novelty songs, but "You are There" is maybe an uncharacteristically un-ironic Frishberg lyric, and inevitably reminds performers and listeners alike of a lost relationship or a remembrance of a loved one who has died. The setting here lightens the mood a bit, I think. It's like a Bacharach shuffle, complete with Thaddeus's wistful harmonica, so it feels less like a funeral and more like what the Brazilians call saudade, where you miss someone or someplace but you are happy because you have happy memories. This also sounds like L.A., film premieres with skylights, limos pulling up to the theatre, martinis.


One for My Baby

late night drinking again because my baby is gone

There are two characters in in this song, the drinker and "Joe" the bartender, and maybe the bartender is feeling sad too. Peter Eldridge is, as probably anyone knows who is reading this, the baritone vocalist and often arranger and composer for the New York Voices, a group which was a profound inspiration for Dave and many musicians who thrilled to their intricate arrangements, stunning improvisations, fun and often profound original compositions, and unbridled vocal virtuosity, so it was fun to imagine Peter as a (very slightly) older character giving Dave advice at the bar. This arrangement sought to add Simon and Garfunkel-ish harmonies to the mix, plus the acoustic/electric mashup of Paul's "Still Crazy/One Trick Pony" period, in a bar in midtown somewhere, but 1970's New York before it became Disney New York.


The Dark Side

a jazzy visit to a seedy spot with lots of shady characters

Dave wrote this on some of the chord changes from a Bach cantata (BWV 92 for those of you keeping score at home), and the progression has some non-jazzy twists and inversions to keep you on your toes as a player or listener. Again Kevin Barry's layers of guitars add another level of pathos beyond the swinging jazz combo accompaniment, like we're listening to this band playing in a movie scene, and the jazz group is the actual sound in the room for the scene, and the guitars are a theatrical underscore. And is that Tom Waits in the naugahyde booth back there?



Every Time We Say Goodbye

violin surging emotion with folky guitar

With straight up folky guitar plus fiddle, the most overt Standard vs. Paul Simon mashup on the record. Dave also sings Paul's "Everything Put Together Falls Apart" on gigs and this arrangement sounds like another part of that ongoing Paul Simon research project/love fest. A great song sounds great in many different contexts, and it is always fun hearing audiences' reactions when they hear us play the intro and then realize what song we are playing.


Deciding Where to Land

wide open spaces and the meaning of life

The lyrics are overtly autobiographical about Dave's growing up in Nebraska. It feels like an art-song, the meter changes matching the emphasis of the lyrics and not merely an acrobatic exercise. With this band it took on a little more of a 60's-70's Miles Davis funky vibe, suggesting that Dave's imagination is taking him to other parts of the world and deep philosophical concerns, far away from the fields of his youth.



The Summer Knows

hot summer night, fall is almost here

More style mashups. Michel Legrand passed last year and Dave added this to the repertoire using a groove he made up on the bass which is at the core of the arrangement. It might remind you of Curtis Mayfield or at least a hot, inner-city summer, rather than a bucolic Nantucket beach where a young man has a fling with an older woman (as in the movie where the song was debuted). The rhodes and funky guitar add the New York City element, and the horns and Walter's solo and overall rhythmic atmosphere are reminiscent of something Marcus Miller might have written for Miles on "Tutu."


Grow

peaceful piece

Grow sounds like an elegy, but one with hope for the future. The sax and piano start out intimately, but then the sound language of the rest of the record enters, giving it a Film Noir/David Lynch-like quality that resonates throughout the album.


"He phrases like a saxophone player and is slippery and hip as a young Mel Tormé" - Cadence Magazine


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