If I ever needed a title to categorize John Scofield releases from his Grammavision days, I couldn't find one more apt than Loud Jazz (Grammavision, 1988) This was the last of Sco's hot, electric funk fusion releases. He's still groovin' and in the pocket today, but not the electric, loud, in-your-face stuff evident on this album. Although I'm a fan of all of these early releases, and even some from the mid 70's, this is probably my favorite Scofield release. The reason is simple. All of the standard "Sco" stuff is there, but these tracks are more lyrical. The melodies and rhythms are less pushed. The album, overall, feels relaxed and hip.
And the classic gang is all there too. Gary Grainger is spry and funky on bass with Dennis Chambers doing what he does best with a powerful and punchy kick drum. They're joined by keyboardist Robert Aries and Don Alias on percussion, with George Duke taking the keyboard solos.
I can't think of a bad track on this album. Not even one that I get bored with. This is quintessential Sco-funk from the opener "Tell You What" to the title track. Like most Scofield albums, I find myself thinking "these guys had a lot of fun playing these tunes." There's energy, wit, humor-all the elements. I especially found the change of pace, almost melancholy ballad, "True Love" endearing. Even though there's room to take this and rip it like the other tracks despite the depressed tempo, Sco maintains the vibe, keeps it pretty, and does a wonderful job.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.