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John Scofield – Swallow Tales

October 19, 2020
John Scofield: Swallow Tales released 6/12/20 on ECM

John Scofield rivals Pat Metheny as my favorite jazz guitarist. I love his tones, his lyrical approach to improvisation and ultimately his funkiness. He is as comfortable in a traditional jazz setting as he is in a jam band. This album finds him in a traditional jazz trio with Steve Swallow (bass) and Bill Stewart (drums).

The “gimmick” of the album is to focus on Steve Swallow’s compositions. Although recorded in a day, it is the result of more than forty years of homework. John was a 20-year-old student at Berklee when he first met and played with bassist Swallow. They have remained close and they have continued to play together ever since.

“The rapport between Scofield and Swallow is evident in every moment. John: ‘Sometimes when we play it’s like one big guitar, the bass part and my part together.’ Behind the drum kit, Bill Stewart, a close associate of Scofield’s since the early 90s, is alert to all the implications of the interaction.”

Per ECM website

This is a beautiful album that is gentle and easygoing enough to play softly as background music and rich and complex enough to purely listen to. A great summary of Scofield’s tasteful and accessible approach to jazz. Beauty takes priority over guitar pyrotechnics.

Classic ECM release: great sound, minimalistic album art and music that is the fine art of balancing gentle and edgy at the same time. The vinyl is clean and well pressed.


From → Music Reviews

  1. sounds good! thanks.

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