304

The John Scofield Trio: EnRoute

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
The John Scofield Trio: EnRoute EnRoute may be one of the most remarkable recordings John Scofield has made during a redoubtable career that includes a stint with Miles Davis, a tenure with Billy Cobham, and projects with the likes of Pat Metheny and Medeski Martin & Wood. The level of inspiration on this live set recorded last December at the Blue Note in New York is usually the result of constant roadwork on the part of players who have been together for years at a time. While Scofield has played before with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart, their tour last fall was the first collaboration among them in a number of years.

And though Scofield is the most prominent name here, the music is the real star because all three members of the trio—including bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart—contribute equally. Any one of the three could've taken marquee billing on this CD as the music teems with ideas coming from all directions right from the start on "Wee. Throughout the disc, you hear an almost telepathic communication between these musicians that allows them to pickup ideas from each other and expand upon them with their respective instruments. To that end, this music, as on "Bag, is just about as pure as jazz can get without going completely free-form. Yet the threesome are wise enough to work with just enough structure to allow them touchstones to work from: hear the patience with which they explore "Alfie, reaffirming the axiom that the ballad is in fact the truest test of the musician's mettle.

It's laudable John Scofield never goes too long in the jamband scene without returning to the traditional forms. No question he's raised his profile by playing to younger audiences in recent years, but, even adapting his approach, he has never sounded trendy, in part because his unique combination of fluid jazz guitar attack married to the angular blues texture of his sound, is just as effective in either genre. For EnRoute , Scofield's sound becomes all the more sinuous, as it's totally free of effects—which in turn reflects the purity of his playing and his love of collaboration. And this dynamic translates directly into his partnership with Swallow and Stewart, because there's a spontaneous sense of joy about their interactions here that is absolutely sublime—this is whey they call it playing music. No worries about a wrong note with these guys and accordingly, not a wrong note to be heard. (Notwithstanding the beauty of editing your performance, of course!)

It's a further tribute to the humility of these three artists that the music takes precedence over billing. In the end, it is the music that triumphs, with the musicians as a means to that end, a process they seem eminently willing to embrace.


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 The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Voyage Home" CD/LP/Track Review Voyage Home
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "So Far So Close" CD/LP/Track Review So Far So Close
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "Furiously Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Furiously Dreaming
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Spin Cycle" CD/LP/Track Review Spin Cycle
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Occasional Poems" CD/LP/Track Review Occasional Poems
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 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!