Stories » John Scofield: Past Present / The Irish Times review

Top 10 for Mar

John Scofield: Past Present / The Irish Times review

Bookmark and Share

John Scofield is one of the defining guitarists of contemporary jazz, a generous-minded musician with an instantly recognisable sound and a flair for putting groups of like-minded players together. Back in the early 1990s, with saxophonist Joe Lovano, he released a string of albums on the Blue Note label – Time on My Hands (1990), Meant to Be (1991) and What We Do (1993). Well, they're back, but it is particularly in the context of an acoustic quartet – here with the very considerable talents of bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Bill Stewart – that they are able to display their almost supernatural empathy. 

All nine tracks on Past Present are Scofield originals, and the writing is worthy of the playing: Chap Dance is an up-tempo swinger that is so catchy, you are singing the out-head on the first listening; Hangover is a pensive waltz with folky overtones; Get Proud has a jaunty, 70s-cop-show melody that sits in Lovano's horn like Jim Rockford sits in his car: and Mr Puffy is vintage Scofield, a gentle swinger full of twists and surprises that can turn nasty at any moment.  READ THE FULL Irish Times REVIEW