Present and future students of jazz pianist-singer and composer Bobby Scott will be able to boast to their grandchildren of an artistic lineage going back to Claude Debussy. Scott actually did study composition, conducting, and orchestration as a precocious 9-year-old with Debussy's pupil Edvard Morritz. Scott, by his mid-teens,had gone on the road with the big bands of Louis Prima and Gene Krupa. A composer of note, he later won a Grammy with "A Taste of Honey" and has had hits in "Chain Gang" and "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."
Today at 4 p.m. in the Corcoran's Great American Songwriters Series, Scott will pay tribute to Nat "King" Cole, whom he used to accompany on tour, in a program of standards that the great singer-pianist made popular, along with some lesser known Cole numbers. The second part of the concert will focus on Scott's own songs.
"In the age that Nat lived in," observes Scott, "it was not proper for a black man to be singing love songs to a white audience . . . And he hurdled that beautifully. People actually fell in love through one of his songs. Which I think is really the ultimate--it wipes away all color, it wipes away everything."