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John Scofield - Country for Old Men / theguardian review

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Following last year's Grammy-winning Past Present, the improvisationally wily but sociably funky jazz guitarist John Scofield now presents a tribute to the country songs of American icons including Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton, with pianist/organist Larry Goldings, bassist Steve Swallow, and drummer Bill Stewart pitching in. Williams' I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry quickly becomes a fast bebop bass-walk, but Scofield always keeps his long, zig-zagging solo within earshot of the tune. Parton's Jolene begins as a dark and dramatic theme statement, and takes on the elemental rhythmic insistence of the classic John Coltrane quartet, while a fine account of Shania Twain's You're Still the One exhibits a tenderness caressed by Scofield's signature tonal creativity. Occasionally there's a disconnect between the convivial lilt of some of these tunes and the jazz grooves, but Scofield at full jazz-improv pelt is always something to behold.