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John Scofield - Groove Elation (1995)

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John Scofield - Groove Elation (1995)

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01. Lazy 		play
02. Peculiar 
03. Let the Cat Out 
04. Kool 		play
05. Old Soul 
06. Groove Elation 
07. Carlos 
08. Soft Shoe 
09. Let it Shine 
10. Biotop

Personnel:
John Scofield (acoustic & electric guitars); 
Billy Drewes (tenor saxophone, flute); 
Howard Johnson (baritone saxophone, tuba, bass clarinet); 
Randy Brecker (trumpet, flugelhorn); 
Steve Turre (trombone); 
Larry Goldings (piano, organ); 
Dennis Irwin (bass); 
Idris Muhammad (drums); 
Don Alias (percussion).

 

John Scofield has continued to grow and evolve year-by-year. This 1995 set is quite blues-oriented, sometimes boppish and fairly laidback, almost sounding like a Jimmy Smith or Groove Holmes date from the 1960s. Larry Goldings (who doubles occasionally on piano) is almost as significant in the ensembles as the leader/guitarist and has become the most important arrival on organ since Joey DeFrancesco and Barbara Dennerlein. Many of the tunes (all Scofield originals) use parade-like rhythms propelled by Idris Muhammad and Dennis Irwin (particularly the eccentric "Peculiar" and "Groove Elation") and the interplay between the two lead voices is quite appealing. Scofield is quite unselfish as far as taking solo space goes (he clearly enjoys the light funky grooves set by Goldings) and the results are quite appealing. ~ Scott Yanow

 

Scofield's has put together a fantastic group of musicians and tunes for this rhythmic workout. This album simply does not have a low point or weak track. Most tracks feature a nice, accessible funky groove, hence the title. Sco does slow it down for a few tunes to feature his acoustic guitar, with pleasing results. The horns and organ contribute heavily on several tunes, although there is still room for Sco to stretch out with some great solos on most tracks.

The lone complaint I would have is that the bass is not quite loud enough in the mix. On a funky set like this, I would have liked to hear the bass a bit more prominently. This album should rank as one of Sco's finest, a fine complement to "a go go" and "bump" which are also highly recommended. For the keen ear, listen carefully for motifs and beats (tracks 4 and 10) that Sco explores again later on his next two funk albums.

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Last Updated (Monday, 22 December 2014 10:32)

 

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