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John Scofield|John Scofield

John Scofield

John Scofield

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Jazz artists exist in a world of collaboration.  They are most often defined by contexts: who they played with, what bands they were in, and in what era they performed. In the 1980s guitarist John Scofield played with Miles Davis's band and appeared on three of the trumpeter's albums. Since then, he's played in a plethora of impromptu groups with fellow guitarist Bill Frisell, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and funksters Medeski Martin & Wood, to name just a few, and as a combo member, has recorded for a variety of labels, including Bue Note, Verve and ECM.  
Driven indoors and alone by the Covid-19 pandemic, the now 70-year-old guitarist has made his first ever solo recording, highlighting what he calls the "pinpointing the beauty of the strings"—the guitar loops he's created are his only accompaniment.  Scofield's clear, unaffected tones are beautifully captured by engineer Tyler McDiarmid on an album executive produced by ECM's visionary owner Manfred Eicher. The vibe in these short pieces is relaxed, reflective and easy; there are no frenzied workouts or speed runs. A swinging take of "There Will Never Be Another You," a tune Scofield played on one of his earliest credits—a 1974 live album with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker—is this collection's most uptempo number.  Although he runs through several of his original compositions, like a deliberately flat and tremolo-ized rendition of his delicate and charming "Honest I Do," it's the covers that are most interesting. He makes interesting chord choices in "My Old Flame" that keep it from becoming too sentimental and gamely reaches back for a wonderful version of one of his longtime loves, Buddy Holly's early rock 'n' roll classic, "Not Fade Away," where he solos over loops of his rhythm guitar, turning to expressionistic, deep chords near the end. Scofield's extensive experience with song catalogs shows most in a single note version of the Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke standard, "It Could Happen to You," where he again plays over rhythm guitar loops in a number made famous by both Miles Davis and Kenny Dorham.  That knowledge also keeps his slow, lingering version of "Danny Boy" from becoming too maudlin or cliched, actually turning slightly experimental near the end as he plays over what he calls an "Indo-European" drone.  Having successfully ventured into the Hank Williams songbook before on his 2016 album Country for Old Men, he nails "You Win Again." Less successful is a meandering version of the New Orleans standard "Junco Partner." Although Scofield has said he loves Professor Longhair's version and once played the tune with Dr. John, he somehow misses its groove and essential playfulness. Though often sounding like rehearsal takes, and lacking in much drive or ambition, this relaxed album is a pleasant stroll through the musical interests of one of today's preeminent guitar stylists. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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John Scofield

John Scofield

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1
Coral
00:02:52

John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Keith Jarrett, Composer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

2
Honest I Do
00:04:16

John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

3
It Could Happen To You
00:05:57

Johnny Burke, Author - Jimmy Van Heusen, Composer - John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

4
Danny Boy
00:04:56

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - John Scofield, Arranger, Electric Guitar, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

5
Elder Dance
00:03:58

John Scofield, Composer, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

6
Mrs. Scofield's Waltz
00:04:21

John Scofield, Composer, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

7
Junco Partner
00:03:44

Traditional, ComposerLyricist - John Scofield, Arranger, Electric Guitar, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

8
There Will Never Be Another You
00:02:52

Harry Warren, Composer - Mack Gordon, Author - John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

9
My Old Flame
00:02:36

Arthur Johnston, Composer - Sam Coslow, Author - John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

10
Not Fade Away
00:05:43

Norman Petty, ComposerLyricist - John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Hardin, ComposerLyricist - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

11
Since You Asked
00:04:40

John Scofield, Composer, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

12
Trance De Jour
00:04:23

John Scofield, Composer, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

13
You Win Again
00:03:30

Hank Williams, ComposerLyricist - John Scofield, Electric Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Christoph Stickel, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Tyler McDiarmid, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2022 ECM Records GmbH

Album Description

Jazz artists exist in a world of collaboration.  They are most often defined by contexts: who they played with, what bands they were in, and in what era they performed. In the 1980s guitarist John Scofield played with Miles Davis's band and appeared on three of the trumpeter's albums. Since then, he's played in a plethora of impromptu groups with fellow guitarist Bill Frisell, tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano and funksters Medeski Martin & Wood, to name just a few, and as a combo member, has recorded for a variety of labels, including Bue Note, Verve and ECM.  
Driven indoors and alone by the Covid-19 pandemic, the now 70-year-old guitarist has made his first ever solo recording, highlighting what he calls the "pinpointing the beauty of the strings"—the guitar loops he's created are his only accompaniment.  Scofield's clear, unaffected tones are beautifully captured by engineer Tyler McDiarmid on an album executive produced by ECM's visionary owner Manfred Eicher. The vibe in these short pieces is relaxed, reflective and easy; there are no frenzied workouts or speed runs. A swinging take of "There Will Never Be Another You," a tune Scofield played on one of his earliest credits—a 1974 live album with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker—is this collection's most uptempo number.  Although he runs through several of his original compositions, like a deliberately flat and tremolo-ized rendition of his delicate and charming "Honest I Do," it's the covers that are most interesting. He makes interesting chord choices in "My Old Flame" that keep it from becoming too sentimental and gamely reaches back for a wonderful version of one of his longtime loves, Buddy Holly's early rock 'n' roll classic, "Not Fade Away," where he solos over loops of his rhythm guitar, turning to expressionistic, deep chords near the end. Scofield's extensive experience with song catalogs shows most in a single note version of the Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke standard, "It Could Happen to You," where he again plays over rhythm guitar loops in a number made famous by both Miles Davis and Kenny Dorham.  That knowledge also keeps his slow, lingering version of "Danny Boy" from becoming too maudlin or cliched, actually turning slightly experimental near the end as he plays over what he calls an "Indo-European" drone.  Having successfully ventured into the Hank Williams songbook before on his 2016 album Country for Old Men, he nails "You Win Again." Less successful is a meandering version of the New Orleans standard "Junco Partner." Although Scofield has said he loves Professor Longhair's version and once played the tune with Dr. John, he somehow misses its groove and essential playfulness. Though often sounding like rehearsal takes, and lacking in much drive or ambition, this relaxed album is a pleasant stroll through the musical interests of one of today's preeminent guitar stylists. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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