23

Scott Jones: Fictional Characters

Mike Jacobs By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Jones: Fictional Characters
Let's face it, if you're an electric guitarist with high-level jazz fusion chops, there are certain inevitabilities. Merely treading (or in this case stomping) through the stylistic domains of Tribal Tech, Allan Holdsworth, The Chick Corea Elektric Band and the like means stepping into the quicksand of comparison to such behemoths of the genre, so one had better come prepared. With his latest offering Fictional Characters, guitarist Scott Jones does not shrink from those comparisons; he in fact stands up nicely to them.

Although Jones' chosen sonic path may be reminiscent enough of well-worn fusion territory to elicit some initial skepticism, it's evident not long into the proceedings that his talents as player, composer and arranger well exceed the strata of the merely good for an earned place among the exceptional. This reading is seconded by the presence of players on Fictional Characters whose reputations were made while backing some of those aforementioned behemoths— keyboardist Steve Hunt (Allan Holdsworth, Stanley Clarke), bassist Romain Labaye (Scott Henderson, Nguyen Le) and drummer Archibald Ligonnière (Scott Henderson, Richard Bona). The fact that Jones can handily contend with this pack (and even run ahead of it at times) says most of what one needs to know.

In addition to his own compositions giving him and his capable bandmates challenging opportunities to shine (and they do), Jones himself has the cajones to cover the Holdsworth mainstay "Atavachron," with a former member of the AH band no less. More remarkable still is that Jones shows he has the mojo to issue a version fresh enough and hot enough to sufficiently justifiy its existence to even the most jaded of Holdsworth freaks.

Perhaps the less obvious yet crowning proof of Jones' skill lies in "Time Is An Infinite Field." An evocative Hunt piano improv originally intended as a solo intro piece to one of the tunes, Jones' recombinant guitar overlay is an astonishingly seamless, organic-sounding retrofit. It shows an uncommon musical empathy that not only adds more wonder to a beautiful base track, but a sublime high point to an album rife with blazing ones.

Unlike the crop of recently popular crossover bands who have wooed chunks of the mainstream public into opening their ears to various progressive instrumental, jazz and fusion music, Jones' brand of uncompromising, unapologetic fusion isn't likely to win many converts to the genre, save those already so inclined. Be that as it may, as a new and fully-recognizable offering to a musical idiom that receives few unmutated additions of late, Fictional Characters will surely provide a hefty and exciting shot in the arm for jazz-rock/fusion's stalwart devotees.

Track Listing

Floki's Shipyard; The Long Night; Human Music; Shut Up and Dance; Interlocking Wheels; Let's Cook; Time Is An Infinite Field; Atavachron.

Personnel

Scott Jones: guitar; Steve Hunt: keyboards; Romain Labaye: bass; Archibald Ligonnière: drums.

Album information

Title: Fictional Characters | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Autumn Hill Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Another Land
Dave Holland
Native Sons
Los Lobos
Naurora
Dewa Budjana
The Last Call
Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine
Palette of Feelings
Karolis Šarkus
A Centering Peace
Brian Woodruff Sextet
Five Down Blues
Kyle Asche Organ trio

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings 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 step that will help musicians and venues 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 sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

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