Written by Grant Jackson from NPR
On this episode of Piano Jazz, singer-songwriter and guitarist Boz Scaggs performs a few standards in a program that originally aired in 2004.
Scaggs met future rock star and classic-rock staple Steve Miller while the two were attending prep school in Texas. In 1959, Skaggs joined a group headed by Miller, beginning a musical association that lasted, on and off, into the late ’60s.
During this time, Scaggs also attended the University of Wisconsin and later traveled and performed in Europe. He rejoined Miller and his latest group, The Steve Miller Band, in 1967, and stayed with the group through the recording and release of its first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor. Scaggs left the group afterward, at which point he recorded his blues-oriented debut album.
Scaggs spent much of the 1980s away from music; he toured sporadically and recorded one album. His career got a jump start in the early ’90s when Scaggs was invited by Donald Fagen (Steely Dan) to join his New York Rock and Soul Revue, along with Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, Michael McDonald and Charles Brown, among others. Scaggs made an album of original material, Some Change, followed by the Grammy-nominated Come on Home, a collection of R&B classics and originals.
In the past decade, Boz Scaggs has made two albums of jazz standards. But Beautiful featured a traditional quartet and was followed by Speak Low, arranged and produced by Gil Goldstein and featuring a string quartet with harp and woodwinds.
In addition to touring extensively with his own band, Scaggs continues to work with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald as The Dukes of September. His latest album, Memphis, is a tribute to the Memphis sound and features classics such as “Rainy Night in Georgia,” “Corinna, Corinna” and “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl,” as well as a couple of originals.
Original recorded Sept. 8, 2003.