John Scofield Interview (Part 2 of 2) [Listen 18:00] Having A Jazz Thing To Say With John Scofield S04 Ep09
Special Guest: John Scofield (Part 2 of 2) is one of the most influential Jazz guitarist to come out of the 1970’s. His style of playing combines a distinctive rock oriented jazz sound mixed with elements of fusion, soul, and post-bop creating a sound and tone that is truly unique. If I had to describe the John Scofield sound I would use words like funky, upbeat, fluid, and adventurous. And like with all the greats, the command and facility Scofield (or “Sco” as he is often affectionately called) has with his instrument allows him the ability to make music seem smooth, unforced, and with a heavy dose of some intangible quality that makes it just downright cool.
This week I talk with guitar great John Scofield about recording with Charles Mingus, getting asked to play with Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Ron Carter and others at Carnegie Hall, playing with Miles Davis and much more.
Considering the interest we at the Going Thru Vinyl wbsite have with promoting the musicians who have pushed the frontiers of music beyond their popular and comfortable bounds, and the influence John Scofield has had on the face of the jazz world, below is a short intro and homage to the great jazz guitar players who pushed and progressed the guitar in jazz.
It is largely due to Charlie Christian who brought the guitar out from the accompanying rhythm instrument to an improvisational, harmonic and melodic device. Also one of the first to go electric, not necessarily to go agains the greain, but out of necessity to hear his style of playing. Christian became such a phenomenon that almost all guitarists switched to amplified instruments.
Django Reinhardt. No list of jazz guitar greats is complete without him. The non-formally educated Roma man in Europe made music and developed a style that changed--actually shattered and forged new concepts of jazz, as well as where and how, and who could play jazz. To many, everything was wrong about him, but his energy and creativity, and brilliance commanded anyone in music unable to disregard him.
Once again, we have to pay homage to Les Paul, who innovated and invented techniques for the guitar. Paul was so ahead of his time, even jazz aficionados of the age, people who considered themselves advanced and intelligent, considered his new techniques and manipulation of sound wasn't "music."
Tal Farlow often gets mentioned for the use of his extremely large hands allowing him to play tight clusters of single notes, and too often his description starts and ends there, and perhaps out of spite and jealousy fostered from other guitarists; not enough credit is given to him for the ingenuity and boldness to develop and perform his innovative style. He pushed style further away from the simple rhythmic accompanying instrument, and with a unique style. And clearly, his hands are not inhumanly large, for they're attached to the ends of his wrists like normal.
Wes Montgomery. Aside from his fluid speed and octave technique, he played without a pick, and developed a corn on his thumb that he could employ for a greater degree of control of tone. Said to be the greatest thing to guitar since Charlie Christian, Montgomery essentially influenced everyone who came after him.
Benson was a child prodigy, can play a multitude of styles effortlessly, and mimic his heroes impeccably, but clearly has his own style and brought string bending back to jazz, something at the time had been removed by modern jazz guitarists, all in the search for the common notion of jazz guitar--the clearest line. Besides being virtuostic, in the seventies he was the best selling jazz musician along with Herbie Hancock.
John McLaughlin. The styles that McLaughlin has adopted has taken him around the world and into the most diverse kinds of music; all which he brought back to jazz in a new, enriching, and fascinating manifestation. We've been honored to get a recent interiew with him that you can listen to here: http://goingthruvinyl.com/?artist=John%20McLaughlin
And, of course John Scofield whose complex, contemporary style has influenced several other notable musicians. To hear his interview, and to better understand his style and technique, press play above.
N.B. This is only a short intro and homage, and not meant to infuriate those who have not been mentioned out of brevity. I would like to thank and acknowledge Joachim-Ernst Berendt and Gunther Huesmann for their book, "The Jazz Book: From Ragtime to the 21st Century" which I found an extremely entertaining read and upon which I drew heavily.
FULL CONCERT with Joey DeFrancesco live at the Old Mill Inn [Listen 1 hr 52 min] S02 Ep07 (3 of 3) Channeling Miles with Joey DeFrancesco
Interview Date: March 25, 2012 @7pm EDT
Special Podcast: Joey DeFrancesco Live at The Old Mill Inn
Special Guest: Joey DeFrancesco (Part 3 of 3) Nicknamed “the finest jazz organist on the planet,” Joey DeFranceso and GTV present you with an exclusive and in-depth interview, plus his full concert performance in Toronto.
Coming from a long line of established organ players, DeFrancesco started his career off as a child prodigy (starting at age 4) playing with all the greatest organists in the world. He has developed his skill to the point where he dominates the Hammond B3. When DeFrancesco was 17, Miles Davis called him up to ask him to tour with him and play on his 1989 album, “Amandla.” Since that time he has gone on to play with many other "who’s who" in the jazz world, and often being paired with some of the greatest guitarists in jazz, such as; Pat Martino, Paul Bollenback, Jimmy Bruno, Dave Stryker, and John McLaughlin. In this podcast, listen to his full concert performance at The Old Mill Inn in Toronto. It's only available here at GoingThruVinyl.
Check out Joey DeFrancesco's page http://www.joeydefrancesco.com/
Joey DeFrancesco's band for the performance:
He is known as the drummer and founding member for the Toronto based band "5 after 4" and is an absolute monster in this show. In between sets (about halfway through) you can hear Rezza say to Joey something about "getting all emotional" about Joey's ablity to channel Miles Davis with his horn. Although I couldn't agree with Rezza more, I think Rezza is channeling other famous jazz players himself (notably, Art Blakey). I also thought I might comment on the band: the night of the taping, I happened to be pretty nervous and was overly worried about placing the recorder in the right spot to record the show (I only had one shot at it). Vito Rezza and the rest of the band were really kind and helpful (Rezza was as cool as they come). Thanks for your help; the recording came our great!
Quinlan is one of Canada's best jazz guitarists and teacher. In this set, his playing is as absolutely cool, smooth, and refined (cool as a cucumber salad in a Canadian winter). He is both a session player and the head of the Guitar Department at Humber Collage in Toronto. He has played with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider and Dave Liebman. Needless to say, this guy can really play.
Lastly, I'd like to thank the Old Mill Inn for allowing me to record there. If you are in the Toronto area you might want to check the schedule of the Inn to see who is playing; they have some of the best jazz acts in the city. The rooms are nice, the food is great, the decor is what you'd expect of a classy jazz club. http://www.oldmilltoronto.com/
The Soul Jazz Chayot Ha Kodesh and debate primer
It seems that a heated debate occurs whenever a genre of music gets a label attached to it. It gets fuelled by whichever adherent or so-called expert who chooses to pick up the sword and dive into what defines the genre, what constitutes it, and what nuance necessarily makes someone or some composition excluded from the genre. Such is the case with soul jazz and hard bop. Whether soul jazz is actually hard bop and the reasons why or why not is not going to be debated here. What I want to focus on here, is some of the history and highlights. Despite which side of the battle lines you fall, the legends and landmarks introduced here have left an impact regardless where you wish to pigeon-hole them. For those who know them already, take it as a tribute and a reminder to pull them out again for a spin on the turntable, for those who don't know everyone on the list, take it as an introduction into the highlights of what jazz was producing from the glory days. For those who are discovering (or rediscovering) the Beastie Boys, you may want to pay attention; the impact some of these artists have had on the Beastie Boys' music is pretty distinct. From “Groove Holmes” from Check Your Head to Jimmy Smith's “Root Down” and a smattering of samples throughout, the degree of separation is a small one from the soul jazz greats to the Beastie Boys