Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Accompany This!

I'm not in the running for president of the current John Scofield fan club. His tone grates on me and I don't find his improvisations terribly compelling. But that is now and this (clip) was then. Brookmeyer may be the featured artist here, but for me, Scofield is the star. He shadows the valve trombonist so adroitly and with such deference that you could focus on his just-right accompaniment and be well satisfied. There's a lovely sense of modesty, mated with genuine respect for an older master, on display here.
(To counterbalance my initial Scofield-bashing, I have to praise to the skies his thoroughly atypical "Quiet" album of 1996, which finds him sticking exclusively to acoustic guitar. His playing and writing is exceptional, as is the occasional contribution of guest soloist Wayne Shorter on, thankfully, tenor saxophone.I adore this under-the-radar masterwork.)

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