John Scofield

It is a rare artist that can play more than one style of music with true fluency, virtuosity and sincerity. John Scofield can, and he proves it, with each new release confirming his reputation as a peerless jazz guitarist.

Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age eleven, inspired by both rock and blues players. A local teacher introduced him to Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall and Pat Martino, which sparked a lifelong love of jazz. From 1970 to 1973 Scofield attended the Berklee College of Music and played in the Boston area.  After recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker at Carnegie Hall, Scofield was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years.  His first “big time” gig, this association brought him to the attention of a lot of crossover jazz-rock fans.

In 1977 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and later joined the Gary Burton quartet and Dave Liebman’s quintet.  He also started an ongoing musical relationship with bass player and composer Steve Swallow, a relationship which continues to the present day.  In 1982, he began a three-and-a-half-year stint touring with Miles Davis. Scofield’s compositions and inimitable guitar work appear on three of Davis’ albums.

Scofield began recording as a leader in the late 1970s, establishing himself as an influential and innovative player and composer. His recordings – many already classics – include collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Dennis Chambers, Bill Frisell, Larry Goldings, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris and Joe Lovano.

In the past few years Scofield has released a number of great CDs under the Verve Records label, including a tribute to the music of Ray Charles entitled That’s What I Say, the first live recording of the John Scofield Trio with Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart called EnRoute, and with the help of bandmates Avi Bortnick (guitar), Jesse Murphy (bass), and Adam Deitch (drums), the outstanding electric release überjam.  Scofield says “Out of all the albums I’ve made, I think this is the one that Miles Davis would have enjoyed most.  He was always looking to take jazz to a new place.”


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