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ghost of miles

“To Be Somebody: Hazel Scott”

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Last week’s Night Lights show was a centennial-year tribute to pianist Hazel Scott, a classically-trained prodigy who rose to fame from New York City’s Cafe Society nightclub at the beginning of the 1940s. Scott appeared in five movies, found popular success with her “swinging the classics” interpretations of music by composers such as Rachmaninoff and Chopin, and in 1945 married the charismatic minister and newly-elected Congressional representative Adam Clayton Powell Jr, forming an African-American power couple whose lives were covered extensively in the black press. But Scott’s outspokenness as a civil-rights advocate cost her jobs in Hollywood and a pioneering role as the first African-American woman to host a TV show.
 

To Be Somebody: Hazel Scott includes some of Scott’s earliest recordings, two of her “swinging the classics” sides, two numbers from her movie appearances, two tracks from the 1955 trio album that she made with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, and more. 

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