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John Scofield takes 'Country for Old Men' on the road / Music Fest News

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During his storied 45-year career, John Scofield has played many different styles all branching from his jazz beginnings. Along the way, he has hooked up with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Marc Johnson, Dave Liebman, Jay Mcshann and Jaco Pastorius. His first recording was with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan on their Carnegie Hall Concert (1974). He emerged on the fusion scene as a member of the superfunky Cobham-Duke Band, and joined Gary Burton's quartet.

His first album as a leader, self-titled, was released in 1977. And since then, he has tangled with Bill Frisell in guitar free-for-alls and made a huge splash with A Go Go, an supremely funk album that really increased his prominence and that of his recording mates Medeski, Martin and Wood. He has toured with Phil Lesh & Friends, worked with the Metropole Orchestra, and released a gospel-tinged album (Piety Street) with George Porter, Jr., and Jon Cleary.

And his most recent efforts have been Uberjam Deux (2013), another MSMW record (Juice, 2015), and a fine record with Joe Lovano called Past Present (2015); he has worked with Lovano since the early '90s. That album won Scofield a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Album. And a dynamite 1999 recording was released in 2015 where Scofield played with Gov't Mule, titled Sco-Mule.

Country For Old Men is Scofield's homage to such greats as George Jones, Dolly Parton ("Jolene!"), Merle Haggard, James Taylor, and Hank Williams among others. This album has Scofield playing alongside accomplished colleagues Steve Swallow, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart, and was produced by Scofield himself.

And Scofield doubled his pleasure, winning the Best Instrumental Jazz Album again. He also scored his first Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" from the album.  And now Scofield is taking CFOM on the road. For the U.S. dates, which began last night (Friday, February 24th), the guitarist will be joined by Bill Stewart, Larry Goldings and Vicente Archer. Stewart has been a Scofield collaborator ever since their work with Swallow (bass) in a superb trio. Goldings and Sco first played together in 1994. On bass will be Archer. For the European dates, Sullivan Fortner will replace Goldings at the keyboards.