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John Scofield Überjam Band

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Thursday September 19, 2013

From Metroland

John Scofield Überjam Band
MASSRY CENTER FOR THE ARTS, COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE, SEPT. 15

By Jeff Nania

The show opened, and there was John Scofield with a Telecaster and Avi Bortnick with a Stratocaster along with a table of sampling machines. Bortnick used the the rig to conjure surging organ sounds during their Afrobeat-indoctrinated tune “Snake Dance.” Tying a perfect knot in the groove machine was the almost tuba-like sound elicited by Andy Hess’ P-bass and Ampeg rig. It’s the kind of sound that just blasts out nice and fat without remorse. Bortnick’s clave samples chugged along in a click-click while Scofield’s guitar led the way on this sound safari.

“And now we’d like to play ‘Cracked Ice’ from our new album Überjam Deux, Scofield said.

A funky guitar sample led the groove, and Tony Mason cracked along on a high-pitched snare drum. Multiple breakdowns showcased Scofield playing solo with only drums backing him up, which ultimately proved to be an effective device throughout the evening. The second main section of the piece featured a kind of house-style electronic jam groove that was set off by a series of tape-delayed rhythm guitar strokes from Bortnick. After the excitement of the groove, Mason and Hess dropped out to leave a very clean-toned Scofield and Bortnick with some reversed guitar loops and samples.

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