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John Scofield: New Morning - The Paris Concert

John Kelman By

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Scofield is, of course, the focal point during a set that, "Lost Found & Inbetween" aside, leans more decidedly to an acoustic, mainstream space, though the guitarist's characteristically overdriven tone and penchant for bluesy bends and tasteful vibrato—even as he takes creates delicious tension and release by moving in, out and around the tonal center—gives it a thoroughly contemporary veneer. But the surprise of the set is Eckroth, culled from Scofield's ensemble class at New York University; if his performance here is any indication, he's a player with a bright future. He waxes modal on Scofield's "Slinky," switching from organ to piano for a solo that channels McCoy Tyner via Mulgrew Miller, and matches Scofield note-for-note on the guitarist's altered blues, "Relaxin' at Camarillo" and harder-grooving title track from Groove Elation! (Blue Note, 1995).

The multi-camera shoot reveals plenty for students of any of this group's talented players, and avoids the split-second camera cuts that make some of today's videos a bit of a disruptive experience. If edits are supposed to create a flow, a sense of visual narrative over the stories being told musically, then New Morning: The Paris Concert successfully conveys the energy of being there with a shoot that makes watching it over and over again more than possible; it makes it absolutely essential.

Tracks: Ten Taken; Woody 'N' You; Slinky; My Foolish Heart; Steeplechase; Hive; Lost Found & Inbetween; Chirikawa; Relaxin' At Camarillo; I Want to Talk About You; Groove Elation; The Guiness Spot. Bonus Feature: Soundtrack Sketches.

Personnel: John Scofield: guitar; Michael Eckroth: piano, organ; Ben Street: bass; Bill Stewart: drums.

Running Time: 135 minutes. Bonus Feature: Soundtrack Sketches

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