Tony Scott (musician)

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Tony Scott (far right) with Serbian clarinetist Mihailo Živanović (far left) in 1951

Tony Scott (born Anthony Joseph Sciacca June 17, 1921 - March 28, 2007) was an American jazz clarinetist and arranger known for an interest in folk music around the world. For most of his career he was held in some esteem in New Age music circles because of his decades-long involvement in music linked to Asian cultures and to meditation.


Born in Morristown, New Jersey, Scott attended Juilliard School from 1940 to 1942.[1] In the 1950s he worked with Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. He also had a young Bill Evans as a side-man. In the late 1950s he won on four occasions the Down Beat critics poll for clarinetist in 1955,[2] 1957,[3] 1958[4] and 1959[5] He was known for a more "cool" style than Buddy DeFranco.

Despite this he remained relatively little-known as the clarinet had been in eclipse in jazz since the emergence of bebop. In 1959 he left New York City, where he had been based, and abandoned the United States for a time. In the 1960s he toured South, East, and Southeast Asia. This led to his playing in a Hindu temple, spending time in Japan, and releasing Music for Zen Meditation in 1964 for Verve Records. In 1960 a Down Beat poll for Japan saw readers there name him best clarinetist[6] while the United States preferred Buddy DeFranco. More recently he did a Japanese special on Buddhism and Jazz, although he continued to work with American jazz musicians and played at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1965.

In 1967 he put out his first album in eight years entitled Tony Scott: Homage To Lord Krishna. In the years following that he worked in Germany, Africa, and at times in South America.

He settled in Italy in the 1970s, working with Italian jazz musicians such as Franco D'Andrea and Romano Mussolini. He also played the part of a Sicilian-American Mafia boss in Glauber Rocha's film Claro (1975). In later years he began showing an interest in Electronica and in 2002 his Hare Krishna was remixed by King Britt as a contribution to Verve Remixed.

In 2010, a documentary film by the Italian director Franco Maresco about the life of Tony Scott was released titled Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l'Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz (English: I am Tony Scott. The Story of How Italy Got Rid of the Greatest Jazz Clarinetist).[7]


As leader

  • 1956: Both Sides of Tony Scott (RCA Victor)
  • 1956: The Touch of Tony Scott (RCA Victor)
  • 1957: The Complete Tony Scott (RCA Victor)
  • 1957: The Modern Art of Jazz (Seeco)
  • 1957: Free Blown Jazz (Carlton)
  • 1957: My Kind of Jazz (Perfect)
  • 1957: Tony Scott Swinging In Sweden (RCA, #EPA9505)
  • 1957: Tony Scott in South Africa (RCA, Teal, South Africa #31104)
  • 1959: Golden Moments (Muse)
  • 1959: I'll Remember (Muse)
  • 1959: Sung Heroes (Sunnyside)
  • 1964: Music for Zen Meditation (Verve Records)
  • 1967: Tony Scott and the Indonesian All Stars - Djanger Bali (MPS Records)
  • 1968: Music for Yoga Meditation and Other Joys (Verve Records)
  • 1977: Tony Scott Featuring Jan Akkerman - "Meditation" - (Polydor Records)
  • 1978: Tony Scott & The Traditional Jazz Studio - Boomerang (Supraphon)

As sideman

Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. With Trigger Alpert

With Mundell Lowe

With Carmen McRae

With the Metronome All-Stars

With Max Roach

With Shirley Bunnie Foy


  1. Fox, Margalit. "Tony Scott, Jazz Clarinetist Who Mastered Bebop, Dies at 85", The New York Times, March 31, 2007. Accessed July 23, 2012. "Anthony Joseph Sciacca — his family name is pronounced “Shaka” — was born on June 17, 1921, in Morristown, N.J., to parents who had come from Sicily."
  2. Down Beat Critics Poll 1955.
  3. Down Beat Critics Poll 1957.
  4. Down Beat Critics Poll 1958.
  5. Down Beat Critics Poll 1959.
  6. Down Beat Japanese Readers Poll 1960.
  7. Lua error in Module:WikidataCheck at line 28: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). Io sono Tony Scott, ovvero come l'Italia fece fuori il più grande clarinettista del jazz at IMDb

External links