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John Scofield - John Scofield [Aka: East Meets West] CD (album) cover


John Scofield

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Guitarist John Scofield is one of those jazz artistes that waited a rather long time to start his solo career, as he'd started in the 60's with standard jazzers like Mulligan, Chet Baker and Gary Burton, but by the 70's he'd switched to the hipper fusion bands like George Duke or Billy Cobham. So by mid-77, John still had to make his name as a solo artiste, and this album would be the first of a long string that's still growing today, but for this debut, he had to rely on a Japanese set-up, musicians and session, hence the name of the album. But don't be fooled too much, we're not dealing with an Eastern-sounding fusion of style, as the album is a rather conventional type of electrified jazz, much more so than jazz-rock or even fusion, even if that's one of the facets of Scofield's works.

Working on a trio format with the help of a sax player on two tracks, the album offers six tracks, all composed by Scofield, bar a contribution of drummer Hino on Un Toco Loco in the form of a drum solo intro and improvisation on the rest of it. Trumpet player brother Honi's two trumpet interventions give a much needed clog of colour, especially on V, where he gives a Miles Davis tint. The closing Ida Lupīno is the most interesting track with its mild Indian music references.

Be warned that Scofield's album are never very rocky (although most have got their more energetic moments) and his addition on PA is a bit out of its primary focus, so progheads should approach his oeuvre cautiously and have a certain openness for relatively straight/standard modern jazz. Actually, if you're coming from a rock background, you might wabnt to skip this debut album and go to the Live 78

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Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2011 | Review Permalink

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