998 - John Scofield 'Still Warm' (1986)

My Rating: 2.29 out of 5
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: X
Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums: X
The Mojo Collection: X

Chart Peak (UK/US): --/--

Favourite Tracks: Still Warm
Least-Favourite Track: Picks & Pans

I had heard some John Scofield tracks before, but I've never listened to a complete album. This was a lot funkier than I expected with some intros reminding me more of Earth, Wind & Fire than anything else. Elsewhere it reminded me of Pat Metheny & Weather Report. As you'd expect, all the musicans here are technically very proficient, but I was surprised by just how tightly unified they were as a band. Too many jazz quartets feature four guys trying to out-solo each other, but here they seemed to be working together as a solid, cohesive unit. I was particularly impressed by bass player Darryl Jones who really seemed to hold the whole thing together. Although the production is very clear, with good definition between the drums, bass, keys & guitar, it did feel a little too clinical for me at times. The keyboards occasionally venture into that yeuchhhy Yamaha DX7 sound (well this was the 80s after all) & added to the squeaky-clean production sometimes made it sound a little soul-less. That's a pity because Scofield's guitar playing is quite inventive & he does try to avoid just noodling around jazz clich├ęs. By the end, I really wanted him to turn off that Chorus effect too, so perhaps a little more variation in his guitar sound would have helped.


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