Rob Scott, Pianoptic
Wednesday night I was proud to zip into C.N. Towertown for my friend's CD-release party at Lula Lounge. I've known Rob Scott my entire life. And when I say friend, and I say entire life, I mean we have pictures of my 4th birthday where HE is the one blowing out MY candles.
Rob is a piano prodigy. At 8 he could reproduce, by ear, any song he heard on the radio and it wasn't until highschool or thereabouts that he learned to read and write music physically, on paper. Before then, everything was my ear, by memory.
His songs were played that night with such passion and ferocity that watching his face contort with the different emotions was as entertaining as watching any great band perform live. Rob has been all over the map, emotionally and physically. He was one of the youngest students to ever attend the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston, upon winning a massive scholarship while he was still in high school.
While I was nerding it up watching Star Trek, mesmerised by the different angles of the friggin bloody Enterprise, Rob was creating astounding music and building a solid foundation for what is about to become an formidable career.
Roughly 10 years ago, two big labels (one being Sony BMG) got into a bidding war over Rob and the latest pop CD he had created. Unfortunately the deal offered wasn't what he was looking for, and he cautiously opted for Teacher's College instead.
After a year of teaching music in Mexico, he came back and gave his true passion another shot. Playing weekly in some of the ritziest hotels in downtown Toronto can hook you up with a lot of contacts.
Somehow Michael Buble heard his stuff and gave him a call. They forged a bond, and a deal. Mr. Buble's next album will feature one of Rob's jazz songs, recorded in a Vancouver studio during the upcoming winter months.
But for now, Rob is promoting his newest CD, Pianoptic, which I believe is his first commercially released disc. The range of music is awe-inspiring: from a musical eulogy at his mother's dreamt funeral, to Outkast's 'Hey Ya!' to the Beatles' 'Blackbird' to three songs played simultaneously: Bohemian Rhapsody, Rhapsody In Blue, & Blue Rondo Ala Turk cleverly titled Bohemian Rhapsody In Blue Rondo Ala Turk.
Not to mention his own stunning compositions recorded on an imposing 9.5 foot long Bosendorfer Imperial Grand Piano, with 97 keys, yes you read that right - 97 keys, all in the lower register. The outcome of his skill was a crowd of about 130 all on their feet.