Throughout Tom Scott
's legendary career, the saxman's strengths have always been those impossibly funky patented L.A. Express
grooves and an uncanny ability to take instrumental experimentation to new and challenging places. His after-hours jaunt with some very surprising Night Creatures
finds him at home whipping willing horn sections and gospel-oriented chantalongs into a frenzied intensity that packs more punch than should be legal. Scott
thumbs his horn at conventionality by combining straight-ahead jazz with hip-hop on the fascinating, machine-generated "Bhop," an otherworldly flute explosion straight out of The Twilight Zone. He can't keep up the shocking explosiveness forever, though, and in light of all this magnificence, more complacent tunes like "Anytime, Anyplace and "Daybreak" ring somewhat bland and hollow. His energetic take on Sting
's "We'll Be Together" is solid as covers go, but token vocals don't get any safer than Maysa Leak's ultra-generic "Don't Get Any Better." As always, Scott
's genius has something in store for everyone, and it's easy to forgive the trespasses when the fire glows so convincingly in every other corner of this wild night.