A relatively short span in the career of guitarist John Scofield, but one that really shows him changing a lot as well! Scofield first came up as a musician with a more breezy, open tune – that approach to jazz guitar that really blossomed in the 70s – particularly as some of the more soul-based players of the previous decade opened their minds to more spiritual and experimental settings, particularly on labels like ECM or Muse. Here, Scofield almost goes the other way – starting out with more of those open, chromatic hues that were one of his biggest calling cards in the 80s – then shifting into more groove-oriented material, pointing towards a stronger soul jazz direction he'd take as the 90s moved on. The five albums here cover the span of five years of recording – and each are presented in cool little LP-styled sleeves – in a package that includes the records Time On My Hands, Meant To Be, Grace Under Pressure, Hand Jive, and Groove Elation.
There are "loud" moments on this studio set, but the title cut's name is more a humorous attempt to describe the John Scofield Quartet's music than an accurate depiction of their style. The leader/guitarist, who sounds typically distinctive, welcomes guest keyboardist George Duke to five of his nine originals. Scofield's regular group of the era consisted of keyboardist Robert Aries, electric bassist Gary Grainger and drummer Dennis Chambers and they are also joined here by percussionist Don Alias.
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".
Commissioned by the Society of Friends and Patrons of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and recorded at its premiere performance in September of 2002, Scorched is an extended suite of large-scale reconceptions of guitarist John Scofield's jazz compositions, scored for big band, symphony orchestra, and guitar trio. English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage has been working in the borderland between jazz and classical music since his early days at the feet of Gunther Schuller, and his orchestral elaborations on Scofield's original themes are surprisingly insightful and exciting. Scofield himself leads the trio, which also includes the legendary drummer Peter Erskine and electric bassist John Patitucci…
Guitarist John Scofield combines with Pete Levin on synthesizer to make this 1984 session both very electric and eclectic. With David Sanborn on alto, Ray Anderson on trombone, and Steve Jordan on drums adding acoustic voices to the mix, the results are as thought-provoking as Scofield's titles. The rock, funk, jazz, and techno elements proliferate and combine, putting populist and outside approaches in a new perspective. There are even touches of Ennio Morricone's film music in the wide-open spaces of "Best Western." While much fusion is about the easy mismatching of elements, Scofield manages to turn his different sources into distinctive and original music.
This collection of Blue Note sides from John Scofield's tenure at the label shows the kind of music that helped build his reputation as one of the world's most prominent jazz guitarists. Scofield's unique style is everywhere on this album and he travels around the edges of the jazz sound, sticking an occasional toe into blues, like on "Chariots" and "Lazy," groovy spacy sounds on "Camp Out," and tropical music on "Carlos." Overall this is a fine collection with very little filler.
On A Moment’s Peace, his followup to 2009’s gospel-drenched Piety Street, Scofield and his all-star crew of pianist/organist Larry Goldings, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade luxuriate in ballads associated with such legendary interpreters of song as Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone and John Coltrane.
Guitarist John Scofield's debut as a leader was originally cut for the Japanese Trio label. Scofield's sound was already pretty recognizable this early in his career, although his playing was more funk-oriented than it would become. Scofield is teamed with bassist Clint Houston, drummer Motohiko Hino and (on two of the six selections) trumpeter Terumasa Hino. "Amy" is taken as an unaccompanied guitar solo, which gives the date a bit more variety. The music still sounds pretty strong over two decades later, although for John Scofield, there would be many more steps forward in his future development.