Guitarist John Scofield's final in a long series of releases for Gramavision finds him looking ahead toward his future directions. His sidemen - organist Don Grolnick, acoustic bassist Anthony Cox, and either Johnny Vidacovich or Terri Lyne Carrington on drums join him for standards including "Secret Love" and "All the Things You Are," some New Orleans R&B grooves (most notably on "Rockin' Pneumonia"), and a variety of Scofield's originals. The funk element heard on most of his earlier recordings is downgraded in favor of swinging in spots, and despite his trademark distorted tone, Scofield plays some solos that are almost boppish.
Many highlights of Scofield's work from his late 1980s-early 1990s tenure on Blue Note are included in this collection, which features cameos from Pat Metheny, Joe Lovano, Randy Brecker, and Bill Frisell among many other all stars. Also included is material from Hand Jive, Scofield's collaboration with Eddie Harris, and an unreleased take on Wayne Shorter's "Tom Thumb".
Guitarists John Abercrombie and John Scofield join forces for these early-'80s sessions, mostly duets while occasionally adding bassist George Mraz and drummer Peter Donald. They delve into the jazz canon with an intricate duet of "Solar," a driving, Latin-fused take of "Four on Six" (in which Abercrombie overdubs an electric mandolin), and a dreamy duo interpretation of "If You Could See Me Now." The sole standard, "I Should Care," fares just as well in their hands, which settles into a relaxed exchange between the two players as if they are playing for themselves alone. Scofield's "Small Wonder" is scored for the quartet, a bristling post-bop vehicle with a feature for Mraz as well.