Marilyn Scott

Longtime readers know this writer has a perverse fascination with smooth jazz, or “bizjazz.” At its most hackneyed, the form can range from pallid e-meter funk jams with oleaginous tooty-toot sax lines à la Kenny G to sucky “quiet storm” ballads; at the artistic end, it encompasses the better works of former Miles Davis sidemen and the hybrid jazz-pop of Steely Dan. Scott falls into the latter camp. On this, her seventh album, she’s backed by pros: the Perri sisters on some vocals, George Duke here, two of the Yellowjackets there. Yes, the lyrics can be trite in the way that L.A.-identified human-potential-movement platitudes can cause sugar shock. But Scott’s vocals are typically warm and sexy, and the music draws together elements of fusion, Brazilian pop, smart ’70s EW&F-style R&B and supper-club vocal jazz. If you think Steely Dan’s 1978 album Aja is the bee’s knees, don’t be afraid to try this.