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An Estimable Pairing

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Monday April 23, 2018

From Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Lovano and Scofield are an estimable pairing on sax and guitar
By: Dan Emerson

Scofield’s and Lovano’s familiarity with each other’s playing styles makes them very compatible collaborators who can cover a wide range of music — from delicate ballads to sheets of sound to polyrhythmic funk — and take them to new places. Funky rhythms played a prominent role in their music Tuesday night, partially due to the valuable presence of drummer Bill Stewart, whose syncopated, funk-infused style has made him one of the most highly regarded percussionists in modern jazz. The fourth and youngest member of the quartet, upright bassist Ben Street, also played a strong, collaborative role.

[…] Lovano swung through the tune with abandon, taking advantage of the physical freedom afforded by a wireless microphone clipped to the bell of his saxophone, stalking back and forth on the stage and bending forward from the waist as he blew gusts of sound. On his solo, Scofield reached new heights of screaming, string-bending intensity, egged on by the propulsive stick work of Stewart.

As he traded licks with Lovano, Scofield showed again that he is a guitarist ideally suited for working with saxophonists. He takes advantage of the full, sonic range of the guitar, avoids guitar cliches,and is a master of bending strings for a vocal-like sound. And he can blend perfectly with the sax tones when the tune calls for it.

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