8

Scenes: Destinations

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Scenes: Destinations
There are wondrous stories to be found in everything the eye can see, the ear can hear, and the imagination can dream up. Scenes—the trio of guitarist John Stowell, bassist Jeff Johnson, and drummer John Bishop—has been readily and steadily making that point for more than fifteen years, harnessing natural beauty and concocting chimerical designs that extol the virtues of elasticity, mutability, and high-level communication. The Pacific Northwest knows no greater champion of its beyond-words beauty than this outfit.

Despite its title, Destinations isn't really about reaching endpoints and stopping at specific locales. Instead, it tends to focus on the journey, tracking the ways in which this trio travels and pulling at the fabric of expectations that come with the act itself. It's an absorbing blend of the real and surreal, true to life in a way that only music can be.

The conversational manner with which this trio operates, along with the establishment of a relatively even playing field, helps to elevate this trio to great heights. Whether moving in a nebulous realm on Johnson's "T.I.O," taking a classic like "You And The Night And The Music" to school, playing on bubbling grooves and lyricism with Tommy O'Donnell's "Psalm," or powering Miles Davis' "Solar" with a light touch and a fair amount of horsepower, the band manages to open doorways to new worlds.

Each song here is presented not simply as a tune or a structure, but rather as an opportunity for exploration and adjustable expression(s). That's just as clear on a loose-knit floater like Stowell's "Simple Pleasures" as it is on the strolling "Tapioca Time" or the gleefully glimmering, Western-themed "Long Prairie." Nobody is bound by traditional roles here and there are constant developments related to relational statements and depth of field in these pictures and performances. This band gets tighter and looser all at once with each and every album it delivers.

Track Listing

The Mandy Walk; Long Prairie; Solar; Für Heide; Pretty Boy Floyd; T.I.O; Psalm; You And The Night And The Music; Simple Pleasures; Tapioca Time.

Personnel

John Stowell: guitar; Jeff Johnson: bass; John Bishop: drums.

Album information

Title: Destinations | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Origin Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Light In The World
Light In The World
Nocturnal Four
Read A Time And A Place
A Time And A Place
Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language
Read Mayan Suite
Mayan Suite
Brian Andres
Read When You Find It
When You Find It
Arthur White and Merge
Read Rainbow Baby
Rainbow Baby
Cathlene Pineda
Read An Open Dialogue
An Open Dialogue
Linda Sikhakhane

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.