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JOHN SCOFIELD

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States


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John Scofield biography
Guitarist John Scofield was born on 12-26-1951 in Dayton Ohio. After attending classes at Berklee, he left school for his first gigs with Chet Baker. Soon he was a regular with Billy Cobham for several years, contributing to excellent albums such as Shabazz and Life and Times. In 1982 John became a steady member of Miles' band, playing on three albums until he left in mid-1986. Since then he has worked with many major stars in the world of fusion and jazz including Herbie Hancock, Bill Frisell, George Duke and many others. In recent years Scofield has shown an interest in the world of nu jazz working with pioneers such as Bugge Wesseltoft and Medeski Martin and Wood. In the early part of the new century he released two albums that experimented with modern drumnbass rhythms and he continues to record and perform to this day.

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Blue Note 1994
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5 Original Albums [5 CD]5 Original Albums [5 CD]
Box set
Blue Note 2018
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JOHN SCOFIELD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JOHN SCOFIELD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 6 ratings
John Scofield [Aka: East Meets West]
1978
3.08 | 6 ratings
John Scofield Quartet: Rough House
1979
3.12 | 7 ratings
Who's Who ?
1979
3.86 | 7 ratings
Bar Talk
1980
4.11 | 9 ratings
Electric Outlet
1984
3.28 | 10 ratings
Still Warm
1986
3.23 | 7 ratings
Blue Matter
1987
4.14 | 7 ratings
Loud Jazz
1988
4.29 | 7 ratings
Flat Out
1989
4.27 | 11 ratings
Time On My Hands
1990
4.00 | 11 ratings
John Scofield Quartet: Meant To Be
1991
3.14 | 10 ratings
Grace Under Pressure
1992
4.00 | 6 ratings
John Scofield Quartet: ‎What We Do
1993
4.64 | 11 ratings
Hand Jive
1994
3.92 | 21 ratings
John Scofield & Pat Metheny: I Can See Your House From Here
1994
4.38 | 8 ratings
Groove Elation!
1995
3.83 | 6 ratings
Quiet
1996
3.31 | 17 ratings
A Go Go
1998
4.00 | 6 ratings
Works For Me
2000
3.86 | 7 ratings
Bump
2000
3.89 | 9 ratings
John Scofield Band: Überjam
2002
4.33 | 9 ratings
John Scofield Band: Up All Night
2003
3.40 | 5 ratings
That's What I Say - John Scofield Plays The Music Of Ray Charles
2005
4.00 | 6 ratings
This Meets That
2007
3.14 | 7 ratings
Piety Street
2009
4.33 | 3 ratings
John Scofield, Vince Mendoza & Metropole Orkest: 54
2010
3.22 | 8 ratings
A Moment's Peace
2011
2.50 | 9 ratings
Überjam Deux
2013

JOHN SCOFIELD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Live
1977
4.17 | 6 ratings
Shinola
1982
4.00 | 7 ratings
John Scofield Trio: Out Like A Light
1983
4.00 | 3 ratings
Pick Hits Live
1987
3.33 | 3 ratings
The John Scofield Quartet Plays Live
1993
3.88 | 5 ratings
En Route
2004

JOHN SCOFIELD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

JOHN SCOFIELD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Slo Sco: Best Of The Ballads
1990
4.00 | 1 ratings
Liquid Fire: The Best of John Scofield
1994
3.67 | 3 ratings
Steady Groovin': The Blue Note Groove Sides
2000

JOHN SCOFIELD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

JOHN SCOFIELD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Überjam Deux by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2013
2.50 | 9 ratings

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Überjam Deux
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I'll be short since I'm not very familiar with this guitarist's output. Two albums from the 90's were more up to my taste, especially I Can See Your House From Here (1994) with Pat Metheny, who is one of my fave jazzmen. The other album featured Bill Frisell, and also this one happens to be a collaboration with a guitarist, this time with Avi Bortnick (never heard). Hmm, is this very typical for Scofield in general? Why always a guitarist? Five tracks feature organ or mellotron of the guesting John Medeski, otherwise there are just guitars, bass and drums. The music is bluesy, groovy, not very prog- or fusion-like at all. There are slight dub / chill-out flavours, and the track 'Dub Dub' is rather nice for that matter. The other track I liked was 'Curtis Knew' which sticks out from the boring whole as more melodic and sensual than the rest.

The playing is professional, what else, but the compositions - several of them written with Bortnick - feel too jam-like (well, see the album title...) and uninspired for repeated listening. In fact this was among those borrowed CD's that I don't care to listen to even once without using the skip button. All in all, safe background feel-good music if one enjoys instrumental, light-grooved blues-jazz. I felt like these are songs that would be more interesting with a ballsy female vocalist. Now they were just boring, sorry. And since I believe this is not a recommendable John Scofield album for any average prog listener, two stars will do.

 Blue Matter by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.23 | 7 ratings

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Blue Matter
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars John Scofield is really new to me and I was surprised that in fact, sometime in the 80s I ever bought this album in a cassette format. When I spun it recently I was surprised for two reasons: first, the quality of the record is excellent even though this is just a cassette that I purchased decades ago; second, the musical quality of John Scofield is very good. I was impressed, in fact, when first heard the opening track "Blue Matter" with its relatively complex composition demonstrating how masterful he plays guitar. But, not only that ... I find the drummer also plays excellently combined with solid basslline. Once I listened to it I then kept playing the cassette. Oh yes, Blue Matter brings the album as an interesting one to enjoy - especially those who love solid basslines with dynamic beats in jazz-style. Through this track I understand why this musician is featured in this site as the music is not just having pure jazz style, it combines nicely with rock as well.

I think I do enjoy almost all tracks in this album especially the next two tracks "Trim" and "Heaven Hill". "Trim" most much more dynamic compared to title track and from this track I can recognize further how excellent the drums and bass guitar works. There is a stunning guitar solo in the middle augmented by solid basslines. "Now She's Blonde" is also enjoyable and it has more prog components compared to the other tracks. "Make Me" is also really good one.

Overall, this is a very good album by John Scofield and it will satisfy those of you who love jazz- rock fusion kind of music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

 A Go Go by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.31 | 17 ratings

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A Go Go
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Fans of the Brooklyn jazz combo Medeski Martin & Wood who can't get enough of that unique MMW sound will definitely want to check out this 1998 album, the first of several collaborations with ace guitarist John Scofield. Just don't expect anything near the same high plateau of innovative creativity heard on the trio's own albums.

An acknowledgement by Scofield in the CD booklet says it best: "Thanks to MMW for putting their vibe on my tunes." In other words, these are notably John Scofield tunes, and it would be a mistake to approach the album as even a secondhand Medeski Martin & Wood session, despite the familiarity of their vibe.

It isn't really a fair comparison anyway, kindred spirits though they obviously are. The undemanding retro-lounge sound of this aptly-titled effort seems almost designed to glide smoothly into one ear and out the other, and even with players of this caliber there's hardly enough substance to hold the interest of listeners looking for more challenging musical fusions.

Make no mistake, however: it's an undeniably pleasant experience, at times even reaching the acme of cool (in the groovy musak of the title track; in "Jeep 35"; and elsewhere). Scofield's typically fluid guitar work often takes on an intriguing, almost Fripp-like angularity (see: "Deadzy"). And it's hard to dismiss an album featuring a song named for maverick filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. With its offbeat chord structure and arrangement it's the most unique cut on the album too.

Strangely this first collaboration, with the MMW trio employed strictly as hired sidemen, works better than the later album ("Out Louder", in 2006) on which they all shared compositional credit, a case perhaps of too many cooks, so forth. It definitely helps to hear the quartet's initial efforts not as an extension of the Medeski Martin & Wood discography, but as a point of entry into the extensive back catalogue of a celebrated veteran guitarist.

 A Moment's Peace by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.22 | 8 ratings

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A Moment's Peace
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Money
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars Its been a while since I checked out a new John Scofield release, so I wasn't really sure what to expect since he can be fairly eclectic anyway. After a few minutes of 'A Moment's Peace' I thought I had it figured out, it sounded like a familiar formula for today's 'Contemporary' genre, a polite mix of post-bop and mellow smooth jazz for non-obtrusive intelligent background music. I'm glad I kept listening because what we have here is much better than just sophisticated aural wallpaper. Like Chet Baker, Peggy Lee, and the 'cool' side of Miles, Scofield keeps things relaxed, but you can tell there is plenty of fire smoldering just beneath.

One of the big pluses with 'Moment's Peace' is the abundance of fine memorable melodies, something that is often lacking from more generic contemporary jazz. Scofield chooses his tunes wisely, mixing some classic ballads with his own originals and a couple recent pop 'new-standards'. Some of the tunes are pretty and sentimental without being maudlin, while others are in a relaxed bluesy hard bop style. This mixture of sophisticated pop and jazz blues works well because if the CD had too much of one or the other style it would be far less interesting. The rhythm section gets a little free on some of the hard bop tunes recalling another classic relaxed free-range blues bop guitar album, McLaughlin's 'Extrapolations'.

Although the mood on here remains relaxed, all of the musicians play with a sense of creative integrity, as well as a playful sense of humor. Its that lack of ironic urbane humor that makes much of contemporary jazz pale in comparison to the great musical wits of the Charlie Parkers and Duke Ellingtons.

This is a great CD, there is plenty of 'real jazz' for the bohemian inclined, and enough recognizable 'music' for the casual listener, possibly the ultimate CD for a jazz lover and non- fan to enjoy together.

 John Scofield & Pat Metheny: I Can See Your House From Here by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.92 | 21 ratings

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John Scofield & Pat Metheny: I Can See Your House From Here
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars I suppose this album was inevitable. John Scofield does have a similar sound to Pat Metheny's, although I think that had more to do with record company pressure than their individual styles. Metheny was just too much of a jazz market monster for the suits to not want to copy him. Nonetheless, I like ususally Scofield's soloing style better than Metheny's.

While the songs, in keeping with Metheny's usual style, are all relatively low key, the album mostly alternates between the passive and the slightly more energetic songs. Needless to say, I like the faster and louder pieces, but I just wish that they actually were fast and loud.

The two guitarists play well together, sometimes in unison, and mostly trading solos, and Metheny, thankfully, restrains himself from much use of that lame sounding guitar synth horn patch he is known for.

3 stars, because at least it's pleasant background music.

 Grace Under Pressure by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.14 | 10 ratings

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Grace Under Pressure
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars No, this isn't John Scofield's tribute to Rush. It's actually a pleasant but unassuming jazz album. And despite the electric guitars of Scofield and Bill Frisell, the album is much closer to be-bop than fusion.

As I mentioned above, the songs, all written by Scofield, are mostly be-bop styled. With Charlie Haden on bass (acoustic mostly) and Joey Baron on drums, the music stays fairly light, with only Scofield's adventurous soloing around the chords taking the music to another level. The arrangements never get heavy, in fact they remain at the dinner music level for most of the album.

The only songs that venture far enough away from be-bop enough to be tagged fusion are Twang, a bluesy number with an almost country feel, and Pat Me, where Scofield's tone sounds so much like Pat Metheny's that the title must be a pun.

This isn't a bad album, but it doesn't really stand out either.

 John Scofield [Aka: East Meets West] by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.12 | 6 ratings

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John Scofield [Aka: East Meets West]
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator 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 Lupîno 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

 John Scofield Quartet: Rough House by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.08 | 6 ratings

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John Scofield Quartet: Rough House
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Second official Scofield solo album, recorded in the fall of 78 in southern Germany, Rough House is more of an electrified jazz album, despite some steaming jazz-rock moments. With the line-up presented as your "normal" quartet (guits & keys), with the future faithful Nussbaum on drums, RH is a typical late 70's jazz/fusion album, dominated by Scofield's guitar, much reminiscent of Coryell, Catherine and Metheny of that era, a far cry from the rockier a steamier Jeff Beck or Gary Boyle, both much more in the "rock" scene. Nevertheless, Scofield's sonic realm is quite pleasant to progheads, even if a bit removed from the site's main core of "prog".

Beit the opening 9-mins+ title track or its shorter Alster Fields follow-up, the mood is on the fast, speedy but ultimately rather-soft mode, Galper's piano giving some excellent answers to Scofield's call for responses. Songwriting-wise, with all but one track being from Scofield himself, we're definitely not in the adventurous mode, but in a fairly standard and heard- elsewhere musical territory. Aileron is a bit more energetic, but it soon finds its alter-ego in the calm/yawning flipside opener Slow Elvin. Thealbum's highlight is the closing (and infortunately shortest) Air Pakistan, which will find an extended place in the final version of the upcoming Live album. Hardly essential for progheads (or even fusionheads), Scofield's general discography is like Abercrombie: good consolidating blocks, but certainly not founding cornerstones. If you must have only one Scofield album, this is second choice to the following Live album.

 Live by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Live, 1977
4.05 | 3 ratings

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Live
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

4 stars A double live album (in duration anyway) nowadays, but this album was apparently released as a single disc affair back then. Indeed it appears that the German label Enja unearthed some leftover tracks from the Nov 4th/77 night and plastered them on the Cd reissue, much to the benefit of the original album, who becomes probably Scofield's must-have release of the 70's. One of the goodies about this Live album (other than giving a glimpse of the live facet of Scofield) is that the spotlight is shared with the keyboardist Richard Beirach. All songs are originals except for an exceptional rendition of the classic Morning Sunrise closing the album in an excellent manner.

Scofield's usual 70's studio works usually flickers between electrified jazz and some steamier forms of JR/F and this was also valid on stage as this album can testify. Sonically-speaking, Scofield's guitar style oscillate between Abercrombie, Coryell, Philip Catherine, Pat Metheny, and most of his releases of the era is in the same sonic zones as those I just mentioned, so you should get a good idea on how this sounds, despite it being live and featuring some brilliant keyboards from Beirach, especially on his composition Leaving or the Scofield- penned Air Pakistan and Jeannie. Not too many useless and never-ending unaccompanied solos either on the album, with the exception of two not-too-lengthy drum solo. Sooooooo, if you must own only one Scofield album from his early career, I can only suggest you this one, but I think that there are a few more goodies from the 90's as well.

 Still Warm by SCOFIELD, JOHN album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.28 | 10 ratings

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Still Warm
John Scofield Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars I'm generally wary of 80's release, even in the jazz-JR/F realm, because of the then-technology or the lounge/new-agey feel (ala ECM), but seeing that Still Warm had some good ratings (much better than surrounding releases), I decided to investigate it and rented it. The least we can say is that Scofield's style of playing certainly hasn't changed much (actually a tad bit more nervous or energetic), and you'll find more or less the same kind of compositions than in Who's Who, for ex. So what's changed are the production and some ill-advised 80's traits, like some very boring keyboards layers (read new-age) on some tracks, like the aptly-titled Techno opener, and there are some stinking electronic percussions such as those atrocious sampled-snares on Protocol with binary beats. At least Scofield compensates these flaws with some brilliant guitar chops. In general, Still Warm is an alright album (especially for that dreaded 80's decade), but it won't ruffle your feathers in either the good or bad way, if you're not too allergic to 80's technology.
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