Dec 07, 2015 - Pianist Rudy Scott remembered Saturday at Jazz Hall of Fame
One of the most remarkable things about playing next to Rudy Scott was that he “never played a bad note.”
That’s what blues musician Selby Minner remembered about the Tulsa-native jazz pianist and harmonica player, who died last week at age 80.
“He was enthusiastic and energetic, and never played a bad note,” said Minner, who played in bands with Scott. “He was an all-jazz player, really. He was very good.”
Theodore Rudy Scott was born in Waco, Texas, but got started in music professionally in Tulsa, where he played with many of the jazz and blues bands at the time, hitting the road with the Ernie Fields Band.
Tuan Scott, Rudy Scott’s daughter, said she remembers when she was young that good music was part of a good life.
“There was music playing until about 2, 3, 4, 5 in the morning every night,” Tuan Scott said. “I realized that at a young age, because he was the oldest of 22 and everyone knew how to play an instrument or sing or do something. I knew our family was gifted in the music ministry.”
Scott developed a name for himself with the Ernie Fields Band, then went on to perform with Ike and Tina Turner’s tour. He also played with Flash Terry, D.C. Minner and many more around town. He was a familiar face around the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, of which he was an inducted member. Scott was also inducted in the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, organized now by Selby Minner.
“He lived a very full life,” Minner said. “I saw videos of him back in the ’60s and ’70s, and he just looked like he was having so much fun.”
In his later years, Scott was still active in music. Tuan Scott said a keyboard was rarely far away when you met her father.
“He was very outgoing,” she said. “If you met him, you met him normally not far from a keyboard. He would always like to play for anyone who came around. He was probably already playing music when someone rang the doorbell. He was a very likable person. Everybody liked him. He had older friends more his age and a lot of young friends. Everyone was drawn to him.”
He was immersed in the music up until his death, Tuan Scott said.
“He was still rehearsing two weeks prior to his death,” Tuan Scott said. “On his deathbed, I was playing his music for him. He was still tapping his fingers and moving his leg and calling to Jesus.”
A remembrance is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, 5 S. Boston Ave.
Jerry Wofford 918-581-8346