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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review: Boz Scaggs - Speak Low

Boz Scaggs - Speak Low
2008, Decca/Grey Cat Records

Boz Scaggs was one of the most successful American pop recording artists of the 1970’s. Playing with the likes of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, Duane Allman and Toto, Scaggs helped shape Pop music in the 1970’s. In the 1980’s he dropped out of sight, essentially abandoning the music business altogether. Twenty years later Scaggs returned as a musical curator of the Great American Songbook, releasing But Beautiful, Standards Vol. I. In 2008 he returns with Speak Low, a swanky, ultra-cool collection of standards.

Speak Low opens with Invitation, a dark and lonely soliloquy that fits perfectly with Scaggs' voice. The instrumentation here top notch and it sets the mood for this CD perfectly. Scaggs moves on to She Was Too Good To Me. Scaggs puts on his best crooner hat for this one and accomplishes a nice turn. I Wish I Knew is a gorgeous song no matter who sings it, and Scaggs basically couldn't fail on this one if he tried. Other great renditions here include Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; Save Your Love For Me; Dindi and This Time The Dream's On Me. Also a notable and brave choice is Skylark. This is a somewhat difficult song to sing well, and Scaggs makes a game performance of it. It's great to hear an artist reach like this. While not perfect, it's better than many singers in the popular realm would manage.

Boz Scaggs is the consumate professional performer on Speak Low. This is bound to be a great choice as a holiday gift for older relatives who perhaps remember Scaggs from his younger days or still revel in some of the great American Jazz standards.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Boz Scaggs at You can purchase a copy of Speak Low at or wherever music is sold.

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