Tony Scott: The Murmuring of the Mountain Stream


The Murmuring of the Mountain Stream


Tony Scott (clarinet)


Music for Zen Meditation (Verve 314 521 444)

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Tony Scott (clarinet),

Shinichi Yuize (koto)


Composed by Tony Scott & Shinichi Yuize


Recorded: Tokyo, February, 1964


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

This recording from 1964 comes with a lot of baggage. It is the father of New Age music, some suggest, or maybe a cheesy type of bland background music. But we urge the listener to adopt the zen mind and LET GO OF THE BAGGAGE!

Put aside the dogma. Forget the liner notes by Alan Watts. Just listen to this track as a duet between clarinet and koto. Appreciate the give-and-take, the graceful interaction, the sensitivity to sound and space. This is breathtaking music, and very deep. Ten months after Scott recorded this LP, John Coltrane entered the studio to make A Love Supreme, and one would not be remiss in finding a connection between these two projects, despite their much different sonic textures. Scott, like 'Trane, was probing a spiritually-charged approach to improvisation, one that went beyond traditional definitions of the jazz vocabulary.

'Tis pity that the jazz critical establishment has forgotten this recording, or at times actually disowned it. Don't you make the same mistake. This is fresh, experimental music that still retains its pristine power more than four decades after its initial release.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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