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John Scofield finds jazz in a country repertoire

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Friday September 16, 2016

From The Buffalo News

John Scofield finds jazz in a country repertoire
John Scofield, “Country for Old Men” (Impulse).

Certainly one of the wittiest jazz album titles of the year. Its full provenance is this: obviously an allusion to the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning film “No Country for Old Men,” taken from Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name which got its title from W. B. Yeats’ poem “Sailing to Byzantium.”

You’ve got to love a title like that, especially when it’s a joke the musicians are making about themselves.

The album is reasonably delicious. Ever since Ray Charles so dramatically figured out how to make “modern sounds in country and western music,” country repertoire has been a congenial home for musicians whom no one would suspect being comfortable there. John Scofield is, in so many ways, the representative jazz guitarist of our era, which is why it’s a delight to have a country repertoire record by him, full of country favorites.

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