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Berklee alum John Scofield returns to Berklee Performance Center

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Friday September 23, 2016

From The Upton Daily News

Berklee alum John Scofield returns to Berklee Performance Center
By: Ed Symkus

John Scofield has been playing in so many different musical genres since he got his first guitar at 11, it’s almost a crime to label him just a jazz guitarist. Early on it was rock, then R&B, then blues. But when jazz got hold of him, at around 16, it never let go. Yet when he and his longtime compadres Steve Swallow (bass), Bill Stewart (drums), and Larry Goldings (keyboards) take the stage at Berklee Performance Center on Sept. 23, the jazz they’ll be playing will have a distinct country flavor.

Scofield’s new album, “Country for Old Men,” features, as its title hints, a selection of country classics done up in jazz stylings. It’s a genre – make that a mix of genres – that Scofield, 64, a Berklee alum and a veteran of bands led by Miles Davis, Billy Cobham, Gerry Mulligan, and Chet Baker, as well as many that he’s led under his own name, has been meaning to get around to.

“I was always aware of country music,” said Scofield. “When I was coming up in the ’60s, folk music was around and that was related to country pickin’. And there were certain crossover hits. Everybody who was into music couldn’t avoid knowing about Buck Owens and Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton back then. There were people who were folk and bluegrass players who were really good. So I became aware of this music. I never played it, but I was kind of a closet fan, and I loved it. So I wanted to do a record where we took some of these tunes and turned them into jazz.

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