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John Scofield touring with Jon Cleary this month / Jambands

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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.

Scofield release his new Impulse!/Universal Music Classics album - Past Present was picked by the New York Times as one of the highlights of the fall season, is Scofield's first with an update of his "elastic, swinging" (NY Times) early-90's quartet of Joe Lovano, Bill Stewart and Larry Grenadier (who steps in for Marc Johnson and the late Dennis Irwin) since the quartet released the acclaimed album's Meant To Be, Time on My Hands and What We Do on Blue Note Records. 

 READ THE Jambands Q&A