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John Scofield and Jon Cleary's Abiding Piety

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Thursday December 03, 2015

From JamBands

John Scofield and Jon Cleary’s Abiding Piety
By: Matt Inman

This month, guitarist John Scofield is teaming up with longtime friend and pianist Jon Cleary for a tour that will see the two delve into the R&B traditions that both musicians hold dear. Seemingly a disparate duo—Cleary, England-born but New Orleans-based in every sense, and Scofield, steeped in modern improvisational jazz fusion—the two have found common ground in the music of legends like Professor Longhair, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Little Willie John.Cleary doesn’t claim to be a jazz expert (“I don’t know where these notes come from, but I love it,” he says of Scofield’s playing) and Scofield has nothing but praise for Cleary’s style, saying playing with him “is like playing with the whole band.” Together, they make it work. Below, the two studied and accomplished musicians go back and forth about how they first met over 20 years ago, their current project and why their styles match up so well onstage.

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