John Scofield: Shoe Dog

Jazzmen, from Charlie Christian to Wes Montgomery, defined the sound of the electric guitar: clear, swinging and sophisticated. But as rock 'n' rollers and electric bluesmen gave the guitar a ruder identity, the instrument turned uglier than General Patton's bull terrier Willie. Amplifiers cranked to 11, feedback, fuzzboxes—it was worse than your 2nd-grade teacher scraping her fingernails on the chalkboard to get everyone's attention. Yet, somehow, out of this din emerged John Scofield, who can flirt with electronic debauchery without violating his jazz vows of musicality. "Shoe Dog," by way of sly, easygoing example, slips so snugly and refreshingly into the ear, we wonder how we've gotten along without it all these years.

December 31, 2007 · 3 comments


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