New York based singer-songwriter Cynthia Scott has set out to change the world for the better... one song at a time. Her new CD album, “Dream For One Bright World” apparently accomplishes this, according to numerous music business sources. Chicago Tribune’s jazz critic, Howard Reich, praised her as “a mesmerising vocalist.”
“Most people sense that all is not well with the world. And I’ve put these concerns into the music,” says Scott, the Arkansas-born singer who developed her love of music early, singing in church. “My goal is to lift the world with my music, encouraging and inspiring."
Ms. Scott relates, “I was surrounded by music all my life. I sang in groups like The Supremes in high school. After moving to Dallas, I got my first job by pretending to be someone else on the telephone. I asked if I could send my sister down to sing at this club, but it was actually me who went! I got the job and worked with some of the top Dallas jazz musicians, such as James Clay, Onzy Matthews, Marshall Ivory, Claude Johnson, and Roger Boykins, right off the bat.”
Cynthia’s mother wanted her to get a job with some security, such as in teaching.
But she told her mom, “I will do this even if they have to roll me out in a wheel chair and place me in front of the microphone. When Ray Charles called to hire me, I think she felt a bit better.”
No newcomer to the music world, Scott has traveled the globe from across the USA to Japan, France, West Africa , Russia and other countries. She toured as Jazz Ambassador for the United States in 2004, often performing for heads of state. At a recent engagement at New York’s Lincoln Center, celebrity trumpeter Wynton Marsailis introduced her as having the sweetest, most soulful voice with the deepest feeling, calling her one of today’s finest jazz singers.
But to say that she just sings jazz would be short changing her wide range of musical talents. She began her performing career touring and recording rhythm and blues as one of Ray Charles’ highly acclaimed ‘Raelettes’ vocal group. One of the songs on her new CD, “Shades of Ray”, expresses her love for the man and her experiences while performing with him.
“I learned from Ray to tell the story and do it your way with all your roots included,” Scott says.
The late international singer Jon Lucien proclaimed Cynthia “as one of the best female singers in the business today.” Roger Boykins, KKDA Radio in Dallas said of her new CD, “Something here for every musical taste.” Legendary musician David “Fathead” Newman said, “Cynthia Scott is a master at lighting up a stage. Style, sophistication and spunk! She’s got it all!”. She was his regular singer on many performances. Dallas, Texas based three-Grammy recording engineer and producer Phil York, who records all music styles but is well known for his Willie Nelson gold and platinum albums, thinks she outsings any singer he’s ever heard... in any style.
While Cynthia Scott’s previous four CDs were Grammy contenders, “Dream For One Bright World” elevates her in the music world even further, due in part to the fact that she wrote nearly all the songs right from the heart and no compromises were made in the making of the CD. Each song hits a special nerve in the collective consciousness of our society.
“Did I Know You” is a song she wrote from the recent experience of her aged mother dying of Alzheimer’s, unable at times to recognize her own daughter. Scott received an email from an early buyer of the CD saying, “That song touches me the most. It still makes me cry. Thank you for making this experience so real.”
Scott says, “I know that song is reaching people, seeing grown men cry when they hear it. It’s about losing one’s memories of a lifetime.”
But most of “Dream For One Bright World” is positive and uplifting. “The Singer’ is a personal tribute to the many female vocalists who have graced our lives and who influenced Ms. Scott’s musical career. They include Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Shirley Horn, Carmen McRea and others.
In the title song, “Dream For One Bright World”, Ms. Scott’s lyrics hit the nerve of every good person, with lyrics such as,
There is a new day dawning, the time is now
The world is ready for a change
Can't you feel it in your heart
Don't you feel it in your soul
The time is NOW
Let’s teach our children to care and to help one another
and mend broken hearts
so many children in this world have never had a chance
Their time has come
Can we shift from serving war, to the brotherhood of man
The world is ready for a change, for one bright world
Cathy Gruenfeld, CD reviewer for Jazz Improv in New York wrote, “This album is full of songs that I urge all chorus teachers in New York City and elsewhere to play in the classrooms. And I would recommend it to anyone as a very powerful reminder of what is important in life. This project surely required quite an emotional investment on the part of Cynthia Scott to bring into fruition. What a beautiful result”.
Personal relationships, the subject of most popular songs, is not ignored on the CD. “All About Love” and “Just A Rumor” cover both sides of the subject in Cynthia Scott’s own unique way. And the lower strata of our society is serviced properly by “The Man In The Streets” and “If The Shoe Fits”. Her timely messages are both revealing and heartfelt.
“I have spent so much time on this CD,” says Scott. “Being both the artist and the Producer is not easy. But I’m grateful that I was able to do it. There’s more creative freedom, I had to decide on my direction and go with it. It’s comparable to leading actors who decide they want to direct their movie. It’s not as easy as they thought it would be. All personnel look to you for the next thing to do!”
“I had a lot of help from some wonderful people, including the great musicians performing on my CD starting with pianist/arranger Norman Simmons. Norman had suggested that I not put all of these originals on one CD. But I had to let the music go and set it free, so that I can move on to the next ‘me’. I found my passion early. But it takes a bit of living to really be able to sing your stories. After working with Ray Charles and seeing how the music business operated, I realized that I had a lot to learn.”
Cynthia Scott’s CD hits radio in June and has already garnered rave reviews and comments from the media. A writer at the Syracuse Herald said, “Cynthia performs with haunting artistry and superb talent”. Sheila E. Anderson of WBGO radio said simply, “Don’t sleep on this one!” Musicians in various quarters are quietly predicting that the album may be Grammy bound.