“It’s hard to put a level on my music, like jazz of fusion”, says guitarist John Scofield. “It’s instrumental music that has one foot in the jazz tradition and the other in the popular traditions, especially rhythm and blues. You know, jazz musicians don’t live in a vacuum where they only hear jazz”. A veteran sideman (whose credits include, most notably three years touring and recording with Miles Davis), Scofield has developed a formidable career as a bandleader in his own right. Never quite fitting into the typical definition of jazz fusion, the guitarist has worked his favorite aspects of jazz, blues, rock and country into a personal style that is uncompromisingly original. His new Quartet embraces his musical loves and complements them with fresh exploration of jazz traditions.
The guitarist’s career has demonstrated a versatility as diverse as his musical influences. Raised in Wilton, Connecticut, in 1951, the young Scofield absorbed sounds and style from all sources; from The Beatles to John Coltrane. After attending the Berklee School of Music, he moved quickly into the public eye when he began playing with Gerry Mulligan in 1974. In years following, larger audiences heard Scofield in the fusionesque George Duke/Billy Cobham Band. As the guitarist performed as a sideman with prestigious bandleaders, he simultaneously launched his solo career in Europe. Scofield enjoyed immediate success in a variety of musical configurations, the most popular being a trio with Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum. His historic association with Miles Davis from ’82 to ’85 enlarged his personal profile enough for him to break away from sideman work and concentrate fully on own endeavours. His funk-oriented band with Dennis Chambers became one of the most popular electric/instru- mental bands in the recent years.