Stories » John Scofield gets the old gang back for - Past Present / Something Else

Top 10 for Apr

John Scofield gets the old gang back for - Past Present / Something Else

Bookmark and Share

Fresh off his stint with Miles Davis in the mid-80s, John Scofield made a series of signature fusion records that got his solo career off the ground, earning him a reputation as a master guitarist and a rather good composer. But as the 80s turned into the 90s, Scofield made stylistic U-turn, making straight-up bop records leading a quartet that included a young, up-and-coming tenor saxophonist named Joe Lovano. Eventually settling on Bill Stewart on drums and Marc Johnson on bass, the John Scofield Quartet hardly stopped Scofield's momentum; in fact it catapulted him into the upper reaches of jazz guitarists, a status he enjoys to this day. Stewart and Lovano's star power had likewise skyrocketed (Johnson was already well known from his stint in Bill Evans' last trio).

The past is now the present, and Scofield got most of the old gang back together again for his Impulse Records new release, Past Present, out on September 25, 2015. Replacing Johnson (and later, the late Dennis Irwin) is another exceptional bassist, Larry Grenadier.

Put in few words, Past Present is a perfect companion to those trio of records of long ago, and the years in-between quickly melt away as soon as the record starts playing. You can draw a direct comparison between and Meant To Be‘s "Big Fan," as both swing rock hard with rapid-fire hooks, and everyone puts in seasoned solos. "Season Creep" is one of Sco's softer swings, full of soul as on Time‘s "Let's Say We Did", and the guitarist plays with genuine affection.