Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
204

John Scofield: Bump

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
John Scofield continues to venture deeper into simple, stripped-down groove music — and farther away from jazz. Bump is practically a dance record. Mark De Bli Antoni’s keyboard sampler even appears on several tracks; on "Drop and Roll" it’s poorly integrated and sounds like filler. Don’t get me wrong: Boundary-smashing experimentation is good for jazz, and good for music in general. Scofield’s done some of his best work during his electric-fusion periods.

But Bump just doesn’t come close to his best work. Sure, drummers Kenny Wolleson and Eric Kalb cook up mean, steady grooves, but does the album really go anywhere? Most of the compositions are one-dimensional, although "Chichon" has nice moments and the "Kilgeffen"/"We Are Not Alone" sequence throws a few curves at the listener. The acoustic guitar overdubs on "Three Sisters," "Beep Beep," and "Fez" are also refreshing. But Scofield’s noodly envelope filter and whammy effects grow repetitive quickly. He’s at his best when he lets his distinctive single-note lines do the talking on tunes like "Groan Man" and "Swinganova."

Scofield’s association with Medeski, Martin and Wood has won him a whole new audience, one to which very few serious jazz artists have access. He recently played Irving Plaza, a mid-sized New York rock venue in which jazz acts seldom set foot. It’s hard to fault Scofield for basking in this newfound commercial success, but let’s hope it doesn’t take him too far afield.

| Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

  • Simply Put
    Simply Put
    John Scofield
    A Moment's Peace
  • Slinky
    Slinky
    John Scofield
    New Morning: The Paris Concert
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Rediscovery
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Extended Analysis
Rediscovery
Read more articles
Country for Old Men
Country for Old Men
Impulse!
2016
buy
John Scofield: Country for Old Men
John Scofield:...
Impulse!
2016
buy
Past Present
Past Present
Impulse!
2015
buy
Überjam Deux
Überjam Deux
EmArcy
2013
buy
A Moment's Peace
A Moment's Peace
EmArcy
2011
buy
Metropole Orkest / John Scofield / Vince Mendoza: 54
Metropole Orkest /...
EmArcy
2010
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Bill Frisell Bill Frisell
guitar
Charlie Haden Charlie Haden
bass, acoustic
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Mike Stern Mike Stern
guitar
Charlie Hunter Charlie Hunter
guitar, 8-string
Leni Stern Leni Stern
guitar
Soulive Soulive
band/orchestra

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.