During his storied 45-year career, John Scofield has played many different styles all branching from his jazz beginnings. He has played blues, funk, soul, R&B, acid jazz, and more. He has played and recorded with a veritable who’s who of jazz and beyond, from George Adams and Larry Coryell to McCoy Tyner and Keller Williams.
Along the way, he has hooked up with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Marc Johnson, Dave Liebman, Jay Mcshann and Jaco Pastorius. His first recording was with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan on their Carnegie Hall Concert (1974). He emerged on the fusion scene as a member of the superfunky Cobham-Duke Band, and joined Gary Burton’s quartet.
His first album as a leader, self-titled, was released in 1977. And since then, he has tangled with Bill Frisell in guitar free-for-alls and made a huge splash with A Go Go, an supremely funk album that really increased his prominence and that of his recording mates Medeski, Martin and Wood. He has toured with Phil Lesh & Friends, worked with the Metropole Orchestra, and released a gospel-tinged album (Piety Street) with George Porter, Jr., and Jon Cleary.
And his most recent efforts have been Uberjam Deux (2013), another MSMW record (Juice, 2015), and a fine record with Joe Lovano called Past Present (2015); he has worked with Lovano since the early ’90s. That album won Scofield a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Album. And a dynamite 1999 recording was released in 2015 where Scofield played with Gov’t Mule, titled Sco-Mule.
So you might think Scofield would rest on his laurels. Instead, what did he decide to do? Explore a different genre altogether. Thus Country for Old Men (and you must appreciate the clever title). His website explains:
Country For Old Men is Scofield’s homage to such greats as George Jones, Dolly Parton (“Jolene!”), Merle Haggard, James Taylor, and Hank Williams among others. This album has Scofield playing alongside accomplished colleagues Steve Swallow, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart, and was produced by Scofield himself.
And Scofield doubled his pleasure, winning the Best Instrumental Jazz Album again. He also scored his first Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” from the album. Use this link to view a video from the recording sessions.
And now Scofield is taking CFOM on the road. For the U.S. dates, which began last night (Friday, February 24th), the guitarist will be joined by Bill Stewart, Larry Goldings and Vicente Archer. Stewart has been a Scofield collaborator ever since their work with Swallow (bass) in a superb trio. Goldings and Sco first played together in 1994. On bass will be Archer. For the European dates, Sullivan Fortner will replace Goldings at the keyboards.
Check out the album playlist below!
COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: John Scofield with Bill Stewart, Larry Goldings & Vicente Archer
02/24 CFOM | Revolution Hall | Portland OR
02/25 CFOM | Dakota Bar | Minneapolis MN
02/27 CFOM | Boulder Theatre | Boulder CO
02/28 CFOM | Belly Up | Aspen CO
03/01 CFOM | Fort Lewis College | Durango CO
03/02 John Scofield | Fort Lewis College | Durango CO
COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: John Scofield with Bill Stewart, Sullivan Fortner & Vicente Archer
03/11 CFOM | Gazarte | Athens, Greece
03/12 CFOM | Porgy & Bess | Vienna, Austria
03/13 CFOM | 12 on 14 Jazz Club | Warsaw, Poland
03/15 CFOM | Teatro La Perla | Empoli, Italy
03/16 CFOM | Teatro ABC | Catania, Italy
03/17 CFOM | Teatre Golden | Palermo, Italy
03/18 CFOM | Blue Note Milano | Milan, Italy
03/20 CFOM | Teatro Novelli | Rimini, Italy
03/21 CFOM | Alhambra | Geneva, Switzerland
03/22 CFOM | New Morning | Paris, France
03/24 CFOM | MoMKult (MoM Cultural Center) | Budapest, Hungary
03/25 CFOM | Kasseler Bank | Kassel, Germany
03/27 CFOM | SC Cinema / Studen Center In Zagreb | Zagreb, Croatia
03/28 CFOM | Bayerischer (Jazz Club) | Munchen, Germany
03/29 CFOM | Bimhuis | Amsterdam, Netherlands
03/30 CFOM | Jazzclub Fasching | Stockholm, Sweden
03/31 CFOM | Sardinen USF | Bergen, Norway
04/01 CFOM | Club Dinant Jazz / Castel de Pont à Lesse | Dinant, Belgium
04/02 CFOM | Club Dinant Jazz / Castel de Pont à Lesse | Dinant, Belgium
04/03 CFOM | Jazzclub Hannover | Hannover, Germany
04/06 CFOM | Club Doupe | Prague, Czech Republic
04/07 CFOM | Zamek Culture Center | Poznan, Poland