Monday, May 19, 2014

Body and Soul: How a Masterful Instrument Repairman Had Me Swooning

“Just listen to these 16 bars,” Mr. Scott said to the unassuming black man, who I later learned could play like Chester Washington from “Earth Wind & Fire.”  

In all of its beauty, the stereophonic sax solo rang out, transforming Mr. Scott’s cluttered front room into the moodiest of jazz clubs.  I had just walked in through the screened-in front door, but now stood equally transfixed by the many colors of the sultry saxophone that caressed our faces, causing our eyebrows to curl upward and our eyelids to squeeze tight. 

The sax solo was from the 1939 jazz standard “Body and Soul,” first recorded by Louis Armstrong and now with hundreds of versions, including this one by Westchester musician Joe Stelutti.  It brought me to my happy place.

“Mmmm,” I swayed and swooned. 

A hidden gem down a suburban side street in Yonkers, NY, Scott Music Instrument Rental & Repair is a home-based workshop that preserves the art of musical instrument repair – all due to its namesake, master technician and gifted musician, Virgil Scott.