All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

274

John Scofield Band: Uberjam

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Depending on your point of view, John Scofield is either hopelessly unfocused or boldly unpredictable. In 1999 he released Bump, a provocative yet ultimately perfunctory, jam-band-meets-electronica statement. Last year he did a 180 with Works For Me, a straight-ahead quintet offering featuring the likes of Brad Mehldau and Kenny Garrett. Now he returns with Uberjam, a project billed under the name of The John Scofield Band, and surely Scofield's most radical departure from jazz yet.

Avi Bortnick, on rhythm guitar and samples, pushes the electronic envelope of this new music, helping to create a sonic fabric far more involved and compelling than Bump. Bassist Jesse Murphy and drummer Adam Deitch stir up the beats, which get quite aggressive on tracks like "Offspring" and "Uberjam." The mix of programmed and live drums is a conscious and often invigorating nod to hip-hop; Deitch even takes to the mic for a brief rap interlude during "I Brake 4 Monster Booty." As the album plays on, it can seem that Bortnick, more than Scofield, is at the creative helm of this band. Not only does he play a hot rhythm guitar (check out "Snap Crackle Pop") and contribute a beguiling original, "Tomorrow Land"; his electro-tweaking of everything, from drums and bass to Scofield's guitar itself, is what keeps the album interesting. Sometimes Sco winds up sounding like a special guest on his own record, noodling over the mean grooves that Bortnick and the boys lay down. Still, the leader's unique compositional voice predominates, at times harking back to old records like Still Warm and Blue Matter.

With Uberjam, we see Scofield's fascination with new electronic music beginning to bear fruit. The concept may be a bit thin in spots, and the hippie imagery on the cover may be a bit much, but Scofield's desire to respond to new creative idioms is laudable.

Track Listing: Acidhead; Ideofunk; Jungle Fiction; I Brake 4 Monster Booty; Animal Farm; Offspring; Tomorrow Land; Uberjam; Polo Towers; Snap Crackle Pop; Lucky For Her.

Personnel: John Scofield: electric guitar; Avi Bortnick: rhythm guitar and samples; Jesse Murphy: bass; Adam Deitch: drums; John Medeski: B3 organ and mellotron (2, 9); Karl Denson: saxophone and flute (2, 9).

Title: Uberjam | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Verve Music Group

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Expedition" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Float Upstream" CD/LP/Track Review Float Upstream
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "Unfamiliar Surroundings" CD/LP/Track Review Unfamiliar Surroundings
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 10, 2017
Read "Shamat" CD/LP/Track Review Shamat
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 16, 2017
Read "Fly Or Die" CD/LP/Track Review Fly Or Die
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017