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.

Title: Bump | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Challenge Jazz

About John Scofield
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read No Place to Fall
No Place to Fall
By Mark Corroto
Read Cooper's Park
Cooper's Park
By Mike Jurkovic
Read Katarsis4
Katarsis4
By Vitalijus Gailius
Read A Throw Of Dice
A Throw Of Dice
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Roma
Roma
By Mike Jurkovic
Read e-motion
e-motion
By Nicholas F. Mondello
Read The Real Blue
The Real Blue
By Jack Bowers
Read City Abstract
City Abstract
By Dan Bilawsky