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A Peaceful Moment With John Scofield

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Sunday November 06, 2011

from Move

A peaceful moment with a jazz icon: John Scofield tells it all
By Matthew Flores

John Scofield chats about his newest album, jazz maturity, passing the torch and what it was like to play with the great Miles Davis.

John Scofield is a man at peace. After nearly 40 years and enough records to stuff Dizzy Gillespie’s cheeks, the man known as “Sco” has released an album that perfectly exemplifies his skills as a guitar player: cool, confident and full of the experience that only comes after decades writing and recording music.

A Moment’s Peace is not stereotypical Scofield. Gone are the incendiary leads and frenetic, funky jams he has become known for. This is a set of ballads, ranging from the unique (a relaxed cover of The Beatles’ “I Will”) to the smooth and groovy (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”) to the laid-back and delicate (“Already September,” a standout Scofield composition).

Scofield talked with MOVE about his newest release, his newfound jazz maturity and what it was like to play with the great Miles Davis.

[MOVE]A Moment’s Peace, as the title suggests, is much more tranquil than many of your other albums. What prompted the shift in tone and mood on this album?

[John Scofield] I kind of shift tone and mood somewhat for all of my albums. The temptation when you’re a jazz musician is to just make the same record over and over again because you like jazz and you want to get it right. I like to have all of them actually be a little bit different, in order to get some variety. I feel like I’m actually able to play ballads now. I’ve always been a fan of jazz performances of ballads and slow material, but I feel like I’m good at it now. It took me a while to reach a certain maturity.

*[MOVE]*Where did you find a lot of inspiration for this album?

[JS] I think it’s really the greats of music that inspire me, on this album and for all things. I do get a lot of inspiration from the greats of jazz, really and their ballad performances. Miles (Davis), (John) Coltrane … Ben Webster was a great ballads player and Bill Evans on the piano, to name a few.

Read the full interview here