Jazz Guitar Giant
with Steve Swallow (bass), Bill Stewart (drums)
A frequent visitor, guitar star John Scofield always has great groups in tow, but you won’t hear a better or smaller one than his trio with electric bass pioneer Steve Swallow and drummer extraordinaire Bill Stewart. Known for his work with Carla Bley, Gary Burton and Paul Motian, Swallow has collaborated with Scofield since the 1980s. Stewart’s creative, melodic drumming has been a blessing on recordings by everyone from Bill Carrothers to Maceo Parker, and he’s also worked with Scofield since the early 1990s. So, this band is road- and empathy-tested. (7 p.m. Tue., Dakota, $40-$50.) Surowicz, Star Tribune
“…he possesses one of the most unique guitar voices in modern music.” – Frederick Bernas, All About Jazz
The last time John Scofield and Mike Stern played in the same band, they were with Miles Davis in the early 1980s, when Miles was knee-deep in electric blues and rock. This reunion of sorts promises to be more of an acoustic jazz affair: John and Mike will both be playing hollowbody guitars, opting for a mellower tone than either of them are known for. Scofield has written music specifically for this group, and has rearranged a few standard gems as well. With drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Ben Street, this promises to be the sleeper show of the spring!
John Scofield is one of the most influential and innovative guitarists of his generation. He has spent the last 40 years blazing a trail through the post-fusion wilderness, bringing his singular voice to a variety of different projects. His hallmark is his masterful improvising, and his music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R&B.
” …the proper blend of grace and grit” -New York Times
Scofield’s résumé reads like a who’s who of the last 40 years of jazz. After graduating from the Berklee School of Music, his first recording was with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker. Soon he would be performing with the likes of Charles Mingus, Billy Cobham, and Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis, with whom he had an influential stint from 1982-85 that placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.
Scofield has prominently led his own groups since then, making a big noise internationally in the modern jazz world with his rock and blues influences. He has recorded over 30 albums as a leader, including collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell and Phil Lesh. Throughout his decades long career, Scofield has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music, all the while keeping an open musical mind.
The Hollowbodies project offers Scofield the chance to play with one of today’s great guitarists, Mike Stern, joined by Bill Stewart on drums and Ben Street on bass. The guitar has a huge tonal pallet and the Hollowbodies employ that pallet doubly featuring Scofield`s arrangements for the ensemble and the orchestral possibilities of guitars, bass violin and percussion. It`s a big band! The music is neither through-composed or a hot licks contest! Improvisation is the key ingredient as always and the real magic comes in the interplay.
The band will perform originals by John, as well as some originals by other band members as well as a few standards.
In a career that spans three decades and a discography that includes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, five-time Grammy nominee Mike Stern has established himself as one of the premier jazz and jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.