Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

48

John Scofield Trio: EnRoute

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Cerebral jazz fans play in the same sound box as the John Scofield Trio does for 73 minutes of collective prowess. EnRoute is aptly named, for it is a musical journey whose speculative effect needs no conclusion. The trip is worth a long ride and that is what we get.

John Scofield’s exercise of unconventional playing embraces the kind of musical exploration that drives jazz forward with optimism. In nine songs, Scofield articulates ideas whose foundations transcend so many boundaries that EnRoute could serve as an educational analysis of improvisation.

The live recording provides quite a set. On “Wee,” drummer Bill Stewart’s downbeats nicely propel Scofield’s improvisations on the beat to encourage and anticipate the combustion that follows. On “Toogs,” Scofield’s guitar surges and recedes like a tide that one can only feel inside the groove. “Over Big Top” concludes the recording in the more reverent style that has characterized Scofield’s career.

Bill Stewart’s holistic approach to the drums speaks volumes about the power of jazz literacy in younger players. Stewart, younger than his trio mates by decades, clearly inspires Scofield and Swallow into areas that jazz drumming often dares not to go. Stewart’s fearless quest for greater rhythmic literacy drives the cumulative innovation of this record.

“Hammock Soliloquy” is the highlight of EnRoute. Scofield, Swallow and Stewart revisit the hammock theme in altered reprise to show us how far a field they take us in between such returns. Swallow’s solo raises the bass clef to the height of seasoned creativity. Stewart’s multitudinous tom work lulls us inside our own serenity before returning to the final refrain. This is one literary soliloquy.

“Over Big Top” is precisely the tour de force that concludes a record of huge aspiration. Take the most intense and inspired playing one can imagine on bass, guitar and drums, give each its turn to raise the instrument’s playing to the status of anthem and you get this eleven minutes. By song’s end, listeners cheer as loudly as the crowd at the Blue Note did when this record was documented.

Visit Verve on the web.


Track Listing: Wee; Toogs; Name That Tune; Hammock Soliloquy; Bag; It Is Written; Alfie; Travel John; Over Big Top.

Personnel: John Scofield: guitar; Steve Swallow: electric bass; Bill Stewart: drums.

Title: EnRoute | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Glow of Benares CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Magic Circle CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017
Read A Gathering Foretold CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Swinging In The Holidays CD/LP/Track Review Swinging In The Holidays
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Second City" CD/LP/Track Review Second City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "Pocono Git-Down" CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "The Wild" CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Blues I Felt" CD/LP/Track Review Blues I Felt
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 15, 2017
Read "Snowmelt" CD/LP/Track Review Snowmelt
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 6, 2017

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!