“John Scofield has a unique voice on the guitar. It’s his, and it’s matched by no other improviser”
- Lewis Clement
It is helpful to understand at the outset that “hollow body” refers to a type of guitar construction! The band features two guitarists – the other being the redoubtable Mike Stern – who were Gary Burton protégés and also played in 1980s iterations of the Miles Davis band, giving both bona fide fusion credentials. John Scofield, or “Sco,” as he is nearly universally known, has influenced jazz since the late 1970s and is still going very strong. Sco is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop jazz, funk-edged electronica, and more than a skosh of soul-jazz and gospel. Obviously, he is comfortable in several idioms and blurs the lines at will creating a distinctive musical style and personality.
Born in Ohio and raised in suburban Connecticut, Scofield took up the guitar at age 11, inspired by both rock and blues players. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After a debut recording with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Sco was a member of the Billy Cobham-George Duke band for two years. In 1976 he recorded with Charles Mingus, and replaced Pat Metheny in the Gary Burton quartet. He began his international career as a bandleader and recording artist in 1978. From 1982-1985, he toured and recorded with Miles Davis. His Davis stint placed him firmly in the foreground of jazz consciousness as a player and composer.
Since that time he has prominently led his own groups in the international Jazz scene, recorded 36 albums as a leader (many already classics) including collaborations with contemporary favorites like Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, Eddie Harris, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, Brad Mehldau, Mavis Staples, Government Mule, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano and Phil Lesh. He’s played and recorded with Tony Williams, Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, Terumasa Hino, among many jazz legends. Throughout his career Scofield has punctuated his traditional jazz offerings with funk-oriented electric music. All along, the guitarist has kept an open musical mind.
The Hollow Body Band, not the only time Sco has featured a second guitar, unites him this time with Mike Stern, who has impeccable credential in straight-ahead jazz and fusion, having logged notable stints with Jaco Pastorius, Billy Cobham, and The Brecker Brothers; and more recently toured and recorded with Yellowjackets. He has 14 albums as a leader and has nine Grammy nominations to his credit. Drummer-composer Bill Stewart has been a fixture in the jazz bands of Sco for more than two decades. His time feel and swing coupled with unique funk grooves and precise technique has put him in demand for his entire career. Stewart also has a long trio association with organist Larry Goldings and guitarist Peter Bernstein in addition to leading his own band. Bassist Ben Street was a protégé of Miraslov Vitous and also studied with Dave Holland and Buster Williams. He has an earthy tone and great feel, even in the most complex of metric settings. It has made him a favorite of Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel and, of course, Sco.
John Scofield – electric guitar
Mike Stern – electric guitar
Ben Street – double bass
Bill Stewart – drums
Date: April 13, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Miniaci Performing Arts Center
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