48

John Scofield Trio: EnRoute

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
John Scofield Trio: EnRoute 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: electric guitar; Steve Swallow: electric bass; Bill Stewart: drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Verve Music Group | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Salão Brazil CD/LP/Track Review Salão Brazil
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Overseas V CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Behind The Mist CD/LP/Track Review Behind The Mist
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Sedimental You CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by John Sharpe
Published: March 30, 2017
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Collider" CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Pale White Shout" CD/LP/Track Review Pale White Shout
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "More Than This" CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!