With Oh!, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and Al Foster provide a firm look at the state of straight-ahead jazz. Each of the four leaders contributes equally as performer, composer, and arranger. The result simmers consistently with a buoyant spirit which inspires celebration. We can certainly toast the quartet’s anniversaries: ScoLoHoFo was formed in the summer of ’99. For the album, each contributed a few original pieces. Everybody solos, trades fours, and interprets the themes collectively. Lovano’s unmistakable, brusque tone supplies a natural feeling that can be traced back all the way to the origins of jazz. Scofield’s fluid technique and expressive phrasing provide motion and swing. He and Lovano pair off in unison and otherwise, with spontaneous surprises. For this session, they’re thinking as one. Holland, the anchor, ensures that the music remains both exotic and mainstream, while Foster applies an assortment of textures to fit the changing landscape. The fresh sound of the quartet’s collective voice demonstrates growth, while being rooted in tradition. They’re not striving for bleeding-edge growth this time out. No, ScoLoHoFo avoids sharp intensity and lets the music just stroll on by. Partnership, camaraderie and teamwork serve here to put the straight in straight-ahead.
Track Listing: 1 OH!, 2 Right About Now, 3 The Winding Way, 4 Bittersweet, 5 Shorter
Form, 6 New Amsterdam, 7 In Your Arms, 8 The Dawn Of Time, 9
Brandyn, 10 Faces, 11 OH I See
Personnel: John Scofield: Guitar, Joe Lovano: Tenor and Curved Soprano
Saxophone, Dave Holland: Bass, Al Foster: Drums
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.