New Releases: Past Present Review

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Monday October 05, 2015

From CD HotList

CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries
By: Rick Anderson

I’m hard pressed to come up with a jazz guitarist who matches John Scofield for the ability to blend noisy avant-gardism, hard-swinging straight-ahead jazziness, and pure melodic joy the way John Scofield does. (Actually, Bill Frisell is his clear equal in this regard, though their sounds could hardly be more different; when they play together, the results can be spectacular.) On his latest, he’s joined by bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Bill Stewart, and saxophonist Joe Lovano. (Why Joe Lovano? Because if you can get Joe Lovano, you do, and Scofield can.) The program is all originals, but the style varies pretty widely, from the cheerful bop of ‘Chap Dance’ to the greasy and bluesy ‘Get Proud.’ As always, Scofield’s virtuosity is everywhere evident but is never the focal point: the focal point is the tunes and the group’s exceptional interplay. A must for all jazz collections.

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