John Scofield is one of my favorite guitarists, jazz
or otherwise, sideswise or upside-downwise...
He is the shit
. I got turned on to Sco when I was working at KLCC
radio in Eugene
. The music director there knew of my love for MMW
and he said to me one day..."do you know Sco?" I said, "no who the mumbly heck is Sco?" He handed me a cd and that's when the love affair started.
Sco has moved away from straight-up jazz guitar and is more rooted in the jamband thing these days. Whatever the jamband
grew up in Connecticut
Here is a blurb from Sco's homepage that describes the man and his story better than I ever could.
How I Got From There to Here in 704 Easy Words
When I first got into jazz -- around 1969, I came from playing R&B and Soul in High School. Jazz Rock was in its infancy stage and I was lucky enough to be around to experience the Golden Age of both Rock and Soul and see Jazz embrace that movement while I was trying to learn how to play straightahead Jazz. A lot of my early chances to actually gig were in various Jazz/Rock idioms. I got to play "real" jazz with Gary Burton and Gerry Mulligan but my real first "big time" gig was with the Billy Cobham/George Duke band. We got to play in gigantic concert halls and rock venues for excited people who were not necessarily jazz aficionados, but loved the music.
After that band ended, I stayed home in NYC and worked on playing acoustic jazz with my own groups and people like Dave Liebman. I also started an ongoing musical relationship with bassist Steve Swallow that continues to this day. As a jazz bassist and real songwriter (not just a composer) Swallow has influenced me as much as anyone.
In 1982, I joined the Miles Davis
Band, answering the call of funky jazz once again. My stint with Miles made me sure that there really was a kind of music that was both funky and improvised at the same time.
After playing with Miles for over three years and making a few more records of my own, I hooked up with ex-P-Funk
drummer Dennis Chambers
, and we made a group that really utilized funk rhythms. Dennis and bassist Gary Grainger were masters of that "James Brown
/ Earth Wind and Fire
/ 70's thing
". It was great having that underneath my tunes.
When I signed with Blue Note Records
in 1989, I decided to explore more "swinging
" avenues. I got together with my old Berklee School buddy, genius saxophonist Joe Lovano
. We had a group and made three albums for Blue Note -- four counting a bootleg
-- that are probably my very best "jazz" endeavors. Part of that can also be attributed to the magnificent drumming of Bill Stewart
, who is as good a musician as I've ever met.
Then I felt the urge to get into a soul-jazz
thing. I'd been really influenced by the music of Eddie Harris
and Les McCann
from the sixties. I invited Eddie to guest on the album Hand Jive
. This was about the same time that Larry Goldings
entered my music on Hammond Organ
. With the collective possibilities of these musicians, I began to allow jazz to blend with New Orleans
type rhythms to make the music groove
Around this period, I also worked and recorded some with Pat Metheny
-- one of the great guitarists. He and Bill Frisell
are my favorite guitar players to play with and listen to. But then there's also Jim Hall
and Mike Stern
and Jim Hall and John Abercrombie
and Jim Hall and Kurt Rosenwinckle
and Jim Hall and Peter Bernstein
... not to mention Jim Hall. And then there's also Albert King
and Carlos Santana
and Tom Morello
and all the other ones I can't summon the names of right at the moment.
When I heard Medeski, Martin and Wood
's record "Shack Man
", I knew I had to play with them. They played those swampy grooves
and had a free jazz
attitude. These guys are serious conceptualists and are able to take the music to beautiful and strange places. I love what they did on AGoGo
. In the last couple of years, I've heard some great young players that remind me often of what it is that I like so much about the music of sixties R&B
Now I'm able to take that music and mix it with jazz all over again. I'm having more fun playing now than I ever have and I feel like I can finally really learn to play the guitar. Now, after having the chance to play with many of my musical idols -- I'm getting inspiration from younger musicians. I'm as excited about writing and playing music as I ever have been.
-- John Scofield--------------------------------------------
Thank's John, very eloquently said.
Here's a partial discography of John's solo albums. I recommend that you check him out if you like any of the artists he's performed with or jazz guitar
or funk guitar
or soul guitar
in general. For a full discography see his website:
Works For Me
A Go Go
John Scofield/Pat Metheny Summertime
7/94 Bugsy Records
I Can See Your House From Here
12/93 Blue Note
10/93 Blue Note
What We Do
5/92 Blue Note
Grace Under Pressure
12/91 Blue Note
Plays Live 91
Meant To Be
12/90 Blue Note
Time On My Hands
11/89 Blue Note
Pick Hits Live 87
Electric Outlet 5/84 Grammavision
Out Like a Light