January 22, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Holding Back the Years

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Jimmy Scott
genre
Jazz
We gave it a B

With a vocal persona flickering between latter-day Billie Holiday and Nat King Cole, this jazz androgyne can transform any tune into anemotional topography. Forsaking his usual standards for rock-era pop by Elvis Costello, John Lennon, Prince, and others, Jimmy Scott occasionally tips into melodrama while the producers nod. But when the magic happens on Holding Back the Years, that voice ushers you into a secret sitting room of the heart, and you won’t think of saying no. B

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