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John Scofield - Country For Old Men / all about jazz review

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Earlier this year, guitarist John Scofield won a Grammy for his album, Past Present. Released in 2015, Past Present came on the heels of tough times for Sco-the 2013 passing of his son, Evan, to sarcoma at age 26. Sco's music on the album was haunting and pained, the ache of a father and a family that endured the worst possible loss.

His new album, Country for Old Men (Impulse!), released today, is on the same trail bound for similar praise and prizes. As the title indicates, the album is a merger of country and jazz with Sco's ringing fusion flavor backed by keyboardist Larry Goldings, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart. There's a saddle-and-stirrups quality to the music here-familiar cowboy tunes, Bakersfield romps, long-neck ballads and countrypolitan covers that Sco puts across with his singular jazz guitar. Songs such as Mr. Fool, Mama Tried, Jolene and Faded Love among other classics have a country feel and soul-but with jagged jazz improvisation. The result is truly fascinating. I can't recall another jazz artist so closely associated with the electric jazz revolution of the 1970s who has attempted such a blend or has pulled it off this artfully.

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