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Guitarist Scott Sawyer is the kind of musician who displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor. The North Carolinian, who is probably best known for his work with vocalist Nnenna Freelon, showcases his electrified playing and composing on Go There, a dynamic release featuring drummer Kenny Soule, bassists Oteil Burbridge and Ron Brendle, organist/flutist Kofi BurbridgeOteil's older brotherand percussionist Chris Garges.
The disc opens with a funked-out arrangement of George Harrison's "Taxman, a raucous introduction to Sawyer's tastefully charged-up style. "5-Spot and "Royal Canal both have a laid back groove reminiscent of John Scofield with Medeski, Martin and Wood. The latter features a greasy organ solo by Kofi, a hard-hitting upright pulse from Brendle and a barrage of overdriven, inventive ideas from Sawyer. The guitarist demonstrates melodic flexibility on the soulful "Slow Dance, a pleasingly ethereal waltz, and "In the Stream, where effects manipulation thoughtfully takes center stage.
A straight-up backbeat compliments Sawyer's angular theme on "Ar. The extended vamp is the perfect vehicle for Oteil to stretch out with a blistering solo. The veteran bassist (Allman Brothers, Aquarium Rescue Unit) carefully unveils his monster chops for the better good of the groove.
Soule, a long-time musical comrade of Sawyer, keeps things moving with fat, in-the-pocket support. His meaty, never-in-the-way drumming elevates funkier tracks like "Going...Going...Gone and "Go Home, the session's blues-drenched closer.
A talent deserving of wider recognition, Sawyer is a guitarist of varying persuasion who will undoubtedly appeal to fans of groove-oriented experimentation. With exceptional performances and inspired compositions, Go There is a first-rate, soulful good time.
Track Listing: Taxman; 5-Spot; Royal & Canal; Slow Dance; Ar; Slow Down, Freight Train; In the Stream; Dark Lady; Going Going Gone; I Wish You Would; Go Home.
Personnel: Scott Sawyer: guitar; Kenny Soule: drums; Kofi Burbridge: organ, flute; Oteil Burbridge: electric bass; Ron Brendle: acoustic bass; Chris Garges: gong, bells, rattles.
Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: Self Produced
| Style: Funk/Groove
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.