Sunday, September 18, 2011

Nine Lives: Tom Cat

Tom Scott and the L.A. Express: Tom Cat


For a while in the 70's, it seemed like Tom Scott was everywhere. Movie scores? He scored or performed on Uptown Saturday Night, Stir Crazy, Taxi Driver, Bladerunner, and Heaven Can Wait. TV themes? He wrote 'em for Family Ties, Starsky & Hutch, and The Streets of San Francisco. (it was a family business – his dad also scored a ton of things in his day, including the theme from Dragnet). He featured on other artist's stuff, like Joni Mitchell’s Court And Spark, Carole King’s Jazzman, Paul McCartney’s Listen To What The Man Said, Rod Stewart’s Do You Think I’m Sexy, and Blondie’s Rapture, but he's best known for his collaborations with Steely Dan, including the songs Babylon Sister, Deacon Blues, Peg, Black Cow, and especially the album Aja, for which he arranged and conducted all the horns. If that didn't make him cool enough, he was also one of The Blues Brothers.

Tom Cat is from the 1974 album of the same name, featuring Tom and the L.A. Express: electric guitarist Robben Ford, keyboardist Larry Nash, bassist Max Bennett (who wrote this tune), and drummer John Guerin. It's got that horn-dominated pop-jazz sound that reminds me of so much L.A. music of the time, maybe because Tom Scott was clearly playing on all of it.

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