Monday, January 18, 2016

John Scofield - 1991 "Meant To Be"

Meant to Be is a studio album by jazz group The John Scofield Quartet.

This CD, along with Time on My Hands and What We Do, is an exceptional showcase for Scofield and Lovano. Johnson and Stewart lay down some of the best rhythm section playing--enhanced by Sco's creative comping--recorded in the 90's. The tunes are beautiful and inventive throughout, the solos are out of this world (particularly on Go Blow and Big Fan--I still can't figure out how they come in on the out-head after Lovano's solo), and the ensemble telepathy is undeniable.
BUY IT NOW! Then buy What We Do and Time On My Hands.  By Ben Patterson.

The year was 1990 and the quartet featured Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone & alto clarinet, Marc Johnson on bass, Bill Stewart on drums and of course the great man himself on guitar.

I love anything John Scofield does. His guitar sounds much more muted these days; this album is from back when it still used to wail a little. The uptempo tunes are brilliant enough but it's the ballads on this album that get to me; The beautiful "Keep Me In Mind", "The Guinness Spot", "Meant To Be" and "French Flics" are worth the price of the CD all by themselves. But other favourites are "Chariots", "Mr. Coleman To You" (a tribute to Ornette?) and the weird and wonderful "Lost In Space". Scofield writes all songs, naturally.

With great input from all four members of the quartet, this album has a very similar vibe to the 2002 "scolohofo" project which featured Scofield and Lovano alongside Dave Holland and Al Foster, so if you liked that I think you'll like this. (And if you like this of course I think you'll like THAT!)

Modern jazz at its best for sure.

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