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John Scofield

One of the "big three" of late 20th and early 21st century jazz guitarists (along with Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell), John Scofield's influence grew in the '90s and continued into the 21st century. Possessor of a very distinctive rock-oriented sound that is often a bit distorted, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, fusion, and soul-jazz. He started on guitar while at high school in Connecticut, and from 1970-1973 Scofield studied at Berklee and played in the Boston area. After recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker at Carnegie Hall, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and later joined the Gary Burton quartet and Dave Liebman's quintet. His own early sessions as a leader were funk-oriented. Between 1982 and 1985 Scofield toured the world and recorded with Miles Davis. Since that time he has led his own groups, played with Bass Desires, and recorded frequently as a leader for Verve, Emarcy, Gramavision, and Blue Note, using such major players as Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano, Eddie Harris, and a host of others.

Scofield started a long-term relationship with the Verve label in 1996 with his acoustic album Quiet. He cut the funky A Go Go with Medeski, Martin & Wood in 1997, while 2000's Bump featured members of Sex Mob, Soul Coughing, and Deep Banana Blackout. Released in 2001, Works for Me featured a more traditional jazz sound, but for 2002's Uberjam and 2003's Up All Night, he was back to playing fusion. Drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Steve Swallow rounded out the John Scofield Trio for 2004's cerebral and complex live album EnRoute. In 2005, Scofield paid tribute to legendary soulman Ray Charles with That's What I Say. He featured a number of guest vocalist/musicians, including Dr. John, Warren Haynes, and Mavis Staples.

In 2007, Scofield released his debut for Emarcy, This Meets That. Once again, the set was theme-related and featured the guitarist in the company of a large horn section -- winds as well as brass and reeds -- playing original compositions as well as those from the rock and pop vernacular. Two of the more radical offerings on the album were the completely rearranged jazz-rock versions of Charlie Rich's "Behind Closed Doors" and the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Scofield took another left turn on 2009's Piety Street. He hired Jon Cleary on keys, ex-Meters bassist George Porter, and drummer Ricky Fataar to play on a set of spirituals and gospel tunes, all done in a grooved-out soul-jazz manner. In 2010, he was the featured soloist on the Metropole Orkest's Emarcy date 54. Scofield returned to a theme-based format for his next date for the label, A Moment's Peace, a collection of ballads that ran the gamut from Gershwin to the Beatles, and included some original compositions. The set, which was released in September of 2011, featured the guitarist in the company of drummer Brian Blade, organist Larry Goldings, and bassist Scott Colley. Also in 2011, MSMW Live: In Case the World Changes Its Mind was released by Indirecto Records. The double-length set is culled from the Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood 2006 world tour; its contents reflect material off Scofield's A Go Go and the MSMW studio offering Out Louder. Over a decade after Uberjam, the guitarist rounded up some of his collaborators from that disc -- Avi Bortnick (guitar and samples), Adam Deitch (drums) and guest John Medeski -- along with Andy Hess (bass), and Louis Cato (drums), to issue Uberjam Deux in July of 2013. ~ Scott Yanow and Thom Jurek, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

alright andre your in in you pass the test. tell no one......... . . .
A GO GO cd is growing on me !!!!
I brought it & really did not listen to it !!
Hearing it on Pandora, song BOOZER
It rocks BIG TIME !!! X
ALREADY SEPTEMBER, sweet song !!!
Like conversing with a lover over brunch :) on Sunday. Waiting on my boys; E A G L E S to fly :) X
CHANK it up JOHN!
MEMORETTE ROCKS !!!! What a tight funky band !!!! WOW X
@mike marino - Still Warm has Omar Hakim on drums and Daryl Munch Jones on bass - Blue Matter has Dennis Chambers and a different bassist.
THE DISCOGRAPHY LEFT OUT 2 GREAT RELEASES. MEANT TO BE IN 1991 AND WHAT WE DO IN 1993. THESE ARE MORE OF A STRAIGHT UP TYPE JAZZ STYLE WITH LAVONO ON SAX.
pjbb46
Uber-Jam by far my favorite Scofield album!
mulc00
His best stuff is left off here, Blue matter, loud Jazz and Pick hits live are my personal favorites. He was at his best.
John is certainly one of a kind. Unmistatakab l e signature guitar playing! :)
Listen to his recording of "signature of Venus" !!!
Sco's "twang" is the end all & be all !!!
mmsykora
He made a great record with John Abercrombie - don't remember the title.
I saw this guy play in Denton, TX at the annual spring jazz fest back in 2001 and man, this guy is BADASS!!!
Used to prefer Mike Stern when I was younger; I still appreciate Stern but Scofield is the man!!!
Wow, he can play!
I saw him last night. Same guy!
paxsonkev
I had the fortunate experience of meeting John Scofield back in 1976, when he was playing with the George Duke/Billy Cobham band in Atlanta. He was extremely friendly, and even brought my girlfriend and I back to the dressing room to meet George, Billy, and Alphonso. I've grown to appreciate his playing more and more over the years, and particularly like This Meets That and Uberjam. Truly one of the modern greats!
Blue Matter was my first exposure to Sco as well. Sco's style is very unique. Miles said the main difference between Sco and Stern (...who by the way IMHO is the real third member of the big 3...) is that Sco plays behind the beat. The mark of a great artist is their sound. Sco's is unmatched.
mtcsst
I became a fan ever since Blue Matter. One of the most unique, innovative guitarist in the biz.
yes his records blue matter and loud jazz are cool seen him perform blue matter with dennis chambers on drums nyc 80s
Love his stuff including his performances in the Phil Lesh & Friends band. Outstanding in every way.
stan8122
In his own words "Work for ME"
retropat
Right down my alley.
YEAH!!!!
ok cool tune
pretty cool tune
rdoherty3
Groove Elation, Electric Outlet, and Blue Matter are also super recordings.
"Pick Hits Live" 1 of his best is not even listed??
jesse838
Been following this dude for years! He is so dope, yet very distinctive and unique at the same time! I love a lot of his earlier works, not listed above in his discography. Fluid and funky, both at the same time!
girolamous
Some stuff is missing here in the discography. Where's Pick Hits Live or Blue Matter? These are some of his finer albums--and I think Pat Metheney should be among similar artists.
michaelhaydn m v
Very fluid, quick, creative.
The 1996 album "Quiet" is high on my list of often played CDs - top five material.
...blows like his life depends on it!
All of Mr.Schofield ' s output is pretty tasty, but the disc that floored me was 'Time on my Hands' w/ Joe Lovano on Sax. He sounds like T. Monk on guitar, with the dissonant notes.
i like him mucho
prettybebe
don't get enough credit for his talent!
Sco Knows
bogaloo
"Like its all over me man"! Electro-Bop a go-go.....
dnye918
I love Rule of Thumb!!!!!!
still warm with the cookin den chambers on the drum kick a** stuff
Still Warm is my favorite that they have on here, but ‘Loud Jazz’ is my all time fave scofield album. Cant stand his later, jammy stuff.
Best music to paint to 8-)
Lookin' forward to seeing him at the PDX Jazz Fest in Feb!
efacility
You can hear his inner thoughts expressed, as intended, at speed, yes, he has the master linkup, the autopilot, the automagic, can you imagine expressing all of your creative expression at will in a form that grooves at the speed of thought...ma s t e r y of chord/scale interlock, one of my heroes, with incredible intonation (timbre) ta boot...
The Scofield album you have to hear isn't on Pandora. Get Uberjam. A blistering fusion set with not one weak cut.
listen closely to him...he's talking to you...watch his fingers, magnificent technique... r o c k i n g improvisatio n . . . . w a n t to introduce students to guitar, give 'em a Scofield track or take 'em to see Eric Clapton or Les Paul...let them see and hear the possibilitie s . . . a n d observe musicians at'work'.... t h i s stuff will knock their socks off!
Changed my way of thinking about the guitar.

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