How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With Oh!, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster provide a firm look at the state of straight-ahead jazz. Each of the four leaders contributes equally as performer, composer, and arranger. The result simmers consistently with a buoyant spirit which inspires celebration. We can certainly toast the quartet’s anniversaries: ScoLoHoFo was formed in the summer of ’99. For the album, each contributed a few original pieces. Everybody solos, trades fours, and interprets the themes collectively. Lovano’s unmistakable, brusque tone supplies a natural feeling that can be traced back all the way to the origins of jazz. Scofield’s fluid technique and expressive phrasing provide motion and swing. He and Lovano pair off in unison and otherwise, with spontaneous surprises. For this session, they’re thinking as one. Holland, the anchor, ensures that the music remains both exotic and mainstream, while Foster applies an assortment of textures to fit the changing landscape. The fresh sound of the quartet’s collective voice demonstrates growth, while being rooted in tradition. They’re not striving for bleeding-edge growth this time out. No, ScoLoHoFo avoids sharp intensity and lets the music just stroll on by. Partnership, camaraderie and teamwork serve here to put the straight in straight-ahead.
Track Listing: Oh!; Right About Now; The Winding Way; Bittersweet; Shorter Form; New
Amsterdam; In Your Arms; The Dawn of Time; Brandyn; Faces; Oh I See.
Personnel: John Scofield- guitar; Joe Lovano- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone