6

Scott Sawyer: Dreamers

Jeffrey Uhrich By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Sawyer: Dreamers

With a warm and inviting sound, guitarist Scott Sawyer offers an intriguing and engaging collection of songs in Dreamers, his latest release on Doll Records. Sawyer's style of playing is complex yet tastefully restrained and nuanced, reminiscent of guitar legends Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery. By doing so, he allows the song itself to shine as an artistic work, rather than using the song merely as a vehicle to display his prowess on the guitar. On Dreamers, Sawyer and his eclectic mix of side musicians explore genres beyond jazz with a collection of originals and covers (including songs by Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, and Irving Berlin} that resonate with a blues-tinged moxie apparently drawn from his surroundings and the rich music history embedded in his home- base of North Carolina.

IThe disc begins with "Booshki" (named for Sawyer's dog), featuring some wonderful improvisation by saxophonist Dave Finucane—Sawyer quickly establishes a pattern of deftly holding back while his fellow musicians step into the spotlight with a solo or vocal, and then stepping back into the spotlight at just the right time with a well- crafted solo or to transition the piece in another direction. Finucane is featured prominently on Dreamers and several other tracks, as are Ron Brendle on acoustic bass and Brian Sullivan on drums- -these musicians add a warm dimension to Sawyer's musical vision throughout the disc in songs such as "Gotta Lotta" and "Copperhead Stew."

A refreshingly compelling segment of the disc is a 2-song suite dedicated to a friend of Sawyer's from his days as a fledgling guitarist based in Greensboro. The suite begins with "Dakota," which combines a haunting guitar sound with a wonderful and heartfelt spoken-word poem delivered by Bruce Piephoff. "Dakota" perfectly sets up the second track of the suite, "Joe Dunn," an instrumental piece with a swampy blues vibe that really shows off Sawyer's guitar chops and also includes a captivating bass solo by Brendle.

Three tracks on the disc—"Dreamer," "River Man," and "Not Dark Yet" feature Kate McGarry as vocalist. She adds a pleasing dimension to the musical soundscapes painted by Sawyer, and establishes herself as a featured artist in her own right. In "Dreamer," her wordless vocal provides an ethereal quality in her interplay with Finucane's saxophone.

Sawyer proves himself to a versatile and cutting-edge guitarist throughout "Dreamers," and maintains a continuity of sound that embraces jazz and is still true to his musical roots.


Track Listing: Booshki; Dreamer; River Man; Gotta Lotta; Dakota; Joe Dunn; How Deep Is The Ocean; Not Dark Yet; Tony Speaks; Copperhead Stew; No Goodbyes.

Personnel: Scott Sawyer: guitars; Ron Brendle: acoustic bass; Brian Sullivan: drums; Dave Finucane: tenor sax; Kate McGarry: voice (2,3,8); Bruce Piephoff: spoken word (5); Tony Williamson: mandolin (9); Bobby Cohen: drums (7).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Bill Frisell Bill Frisell
guitar
John Scofield John Scofield
guitar
Hiram Bullock Hiram Bullock
guitar, electric
Larry Coryell Larry Coryell
guitar
Jukka Tolonen
guitar, electric
Robert Walter Robert Walter
organ, Hammond B3
Al Garcia
guitar
Jeff Richman Jeff Richman
guitar
Barry Finnerty Barry Finnerty
guitar, electric
Petra Haden Petra Haden
vocalist

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Manovuotometro" CD/LP/Track Review Manovuotometro
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Soul Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Soul Tree
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 10, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!