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John Scofield - Swallow Tales makes BBC Music Magazine's 'The best jazz recordings released in 2020 so far'

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A list of the greatest jazz albums released so far this year, as chosen by the BBC Music Magazine critics includes; John Scofield - Swallow Tales, featuring; John Scofield (electric guitar), Steve Swallow (bass guitar), Bill Stewart (drums) ECM 2679

The electric guitarist John Scofield comes full circle with this fine trio release, revisiting original pieces from veteran bass player Steve Swallow's repertoire – accompanied by the composer himself. Scofield first met Swallow when he was a 20-year-old student at Berklee College, and the bassist's beguiling, compact tunes were a training staple there. The pair have collaborated often over the 40 years since. Bill Stewart has long been Scofield's go-to drummer.

The trio's close rapport means they can nail a deeply satisfying session like this in just an afternoon. The pretty, song-like ‘She Was Young' sets the scene, Scofield and Swallow's lines melting into one another, the guitarist eventually diverging with suggestions of rhythm and blues; Stewart's touch is lighter than air, yet he creates an atmosphere that crackles with energy.

The classic ‘Falling Grace' begins all warm toned and lyrical, Swallow walking the bass up and down behind Scofield before artfully breaking time in his solo to lift the temperature. The musical synergy is thrilling. As Scofield succinctly puts it in the CD liner: ‘When we play it's like one big guitar, the bass part and my part together'.

SEE THE BBC Music Magazine PAGE