This is a man whose music I have adored for years, but have only been able to see perform live since moving to London last year. He is worth the wait, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to see him again, as he staged a last-minute concert to announce his goodbye to London and prepared to return home to New York.
No, wait – not just to London, as we found out on the night. He is taking an extended break from music to pursue the things in life he feels his career is preventing him from enjoying. Nobody could ever fault someone from doing that, but it is sad news for music all the same.
Set in a cosy room in Kettner’s brasserie and champagne bar, the candelabra-decked piano to one side, and a series of microphones lined up – all looked set for a wonderful evening of song. And he doesn’t disappoint. Not ever. With an endless supply of singing talent – both established and new – lining up to perform his most-loved pieces, the night was a resounding success.
Every song of Scott’s comes with a story, with context and he performs and introduces each one with such heart and honesty it’s impossible not to completely lose yourself in them. It’s terribly difficult for me to ever select a favourite – each song taps straight into my emotional core, so it often depends on how I am feeling on any particular evening. However, it’s very easy to say that all the performances were highly enjoyable. From Jodie Jacobs’ star turn, to Richard Fleeshman’s acoustic guitar cover of The Lazy Song/The Distance You Have Come, or the exquisite harmonies brought to Easy by upcoming girl group, Houston.
Scott’s devotion to nurturing new talent has been one of the most enjoyable things about watching his career. He could quite easily sit onstage and perform each and every song perfectly himself, knowing he has the voice and can entertain a crowd. But his traditions of matching songs with singers who are so aptly suited to each piece ensures these songs remain as fresh and new as when first written.
Scott’s absence will temporarily rob upcoming musicians and singers the opportunity to be mentored by one of the best in the business, but no doubt he will be back again before we know it. And the audiences will welcome him back with open hearts and arms.