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Überjam Deux: A Conversation with John Scofield

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Friday August 09, 2013

From The Huffington Post

Überjam Deux: A Conversation with John Scofield
By Mike Ragogna

Mike Ragogna: John, let’s start with your new album Überjam Deux, which already has some history. Can you go into what launched this project?

John Scofield: Well, it really started when we put together the Überjam band back in 2000. We made the first Überjam album, then we made another album after that called Up All Night, and then we toured for a few years and worked on music together. Like a lot of jazz musicians I have a lot of different projects, so I did a bunch of other stuff since then and I thought it was a good idea to go back to it. I love playing with these guys and I thought it would be fun to come up with some new music for that band and see what we could do.

MR: What’s the creative process? Did you jam together and things stuck?

JS: That’s what we did on the first album, but this one was a little different. Avi Bortnick, the other guitarist, and I co-wrote about half the tunes together. Those were tunes that Avi had written. He’s also the sampler guy in the band who knows all the electronic loops, so he had written these tunes and they were fully formed with grooves and sampled parts and everything, really fleshed-out demos. He was nice enough to give me a bunch of tunes, I picked the ones that I liked, took sections from them, and added to them. That’s about half the music, which is different from the other songs that were jammed out. Then I had a few tunes that I just plain out-and-out wrote. So this is more compositions rather than compositions that came from jams.

MR: What percentage of the recording process was improvisational?

JS: Half of it, let’s say. It’s just like jazz tunes, really. They’re set up to have sections where there’s a solo and we’re free-jamming over it, but then we’ll have hues to go to different sections that are more or less composed.

To read the full interview click here