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Scott, Cecil (Xavier) Jr

Scott, Cecil (Xavier) Jr

Scott, Cecil (Xavier) Jr., jazz clarinetist, tenor and baritone saxophonist; b. Springfield, Ohio, Nov. 22, 1905; d. N.Y., Jan. 5, 1964. His father, Cecil Sr., was a violinist. In 1919, while in high school, Cecil Jr. formed a trio with his brother Lloyd (a drummer) and pianist Don Frye. By 1922 they were operating as a seven-piece band, Scott’s Symphonic Syncopators. They toured around Ohio until early 1924, then played at the Royal Gardens, Pittsburgh, prior to residency at Herman’s Inn, N.Y., from June–October 1924. The band alternated dates in their home state with residencies in N.Y. (1926–early 1927) and road dates through Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Canada. In December 1927, they began a long residency at N.Y.’s Savoy Ballroom while continuing to make occasional road trips, hi June 1929, Cecil became the leader of the band, and his Bright Boys toured (and played at many N.Y. residencies) until the early 1930s. However, Cecil suffered a serious accident, badly damaging his ankle in a fall; the resultant complications caused the amputation of a leg and he was forced to disband. After his recovery, he did extensive recording work for Clarence Williams. He also did occasional work with Fletcher Henderson and played regularly with Vernon Andrade’s Orch. during the mid-1930s. Scott played with Teddy Hill in 1936 and 1937 (in N.Y. and on tour). He then played for a long period with a band led by Alberto Socarras until he formed his own band for a residency at the Ubangi Club starting in 1942. During the mid-1940s, he worked with Hot Lips Page in Chicago (c. 1944), then played regularly with Art Hodes’s small groups while continuing regular freelance recording work. During the 1950s and early 1960s, Scott led his own small groups in N.Y. He also worked with Henry “Chick” Morrison’s Band in 1950–52, and with Jimmy McPartland’s Band (c. 1953–54). In August 1959, he played in Canada with Willie “The Lion” Smith.

—John Chilton , Who’s Who of Jazz/Lewis Porter

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