John Scofield's Piety Street is released today

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Tuesday March 31, 2009

John Scofield’s latest album, Piety Street featuring Jon Cleary, George Porter Jr., Ricky Fataar, Shannon Powell, and John Boutt comes out today on Emarcy Records. Click here to get more info, stream clips from the album, and watch a documentary on the inspiration and making of the record.

It is a rare artist that can explore more than one kind of music with true fluency, virtuosity and sincerity. Guitarist John Scofield can, and he’s proven it once again with Piety Street – a powerful collection of Gospel renditions.

Born in Ohio 26 December 1951 and raised in Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. An early introduction to jazz guitar records sparked a lifelong love of jazz. Scofield attended the Berklee College of Music. In 1973, he moved into public eye with a wide variety of bandleaders and musicians including Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Billy Cobham/George Duke, Gerry Mulligan, McCoy Tyner, Jim Hall, and Gary Burton. His first recording as a leader 1977 established him as an influential and innovative player and composer.

In 1982, he began a three-and-a-half-year stint touring with Miles Davis. Scofield’s compositions and guitar work appear on three of Davis’ albums. Throughout his ecclectic career, Scofield has punctuated his many traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. His recordings-several already classics-include collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Government Mule, and Phil Lesh.

With the release of Piety Street, Scofield takes his music to a new place. “I’m just shifting the balances for this one,” he says. I’ve always wanted to record and tour a blues project. That’s where I started as a guitarist and I’m feeling that music more than ever of late. I launched a personal search for musical inspiration beyond the standard 12 bar blues and found it in “old time gospel” music – the closest relative to and inspiration for the R& B that we all love. I’ve always treasured Gospel but never really dug deep into it. My search led to countless songs that really move me. It’s really powerful stuff. Of course, it will be Gospel done my way – all the arrangements are mine. “