Jimmy Scott's Death Stops - And Starts - Documentary

When beloved jazz singer Jimmy Scott died June 12 at age 88, he left behind one last unreleased recording, a duet of "Over the Rainbow," sung with a superfan hoping to create a documentary of the experience.

Storm Gardner, a Scottish singer who, after watching the 2012 Oscar-winning film Searching for Sugar Man, was inspired to search for his own hero, spent part of the last six months with Scott. "Jimmy had promised me a duet 20 years ago," says Gardner of first meeting the diminutive vocalist at New York's Iridium club. After securing Scott's number from music biz perennial Bill Bentley, Gardner traveled to Scott's home in Las Vegas and fulfilled his life's dream with little more than a rough backing track on a laptop. "Jimmy kept saying, 'Where is the piano player?' " recalls Gardner.

The experience was filmed and talks of a documentary began. Although two previous films exist, Gardner notes that neither got a proper release. His nearly completed film also features Scott's widow, Jeanie, who was instrumental in reviving Scott's dormant career in the late 1980s. The other docs don't, says Gardner, adding that she's "the gatekeeper to his secrets."


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