John Scofield, Uncle John's Band, ECM ****

There's a lot packed in here on this latest from guitar icon John Scofield. Boomer friendly - there's a cover of Jerry Garcia's Grateful Dead anthem 'Uncle John's Band', Neil Young's 'Old Man' and Bob Dylan's 'Mister Tabourine Man' and the trio …

Published: 17 Oct 2023. Updated: 7 months.

There's a lot packed in here on this latest from guitar icon John Scofield. Boomer friendly - there's a cover of Jerry Garcia's Grateful Dead anthem 'Uncle John's Band', Neil Young's 'Old Man' and Bob Dylan's 'Mister Tabourine Man' and the trio nestles deep in standards and Sco compositions too. There is such a teasing quality at times in Scofield's lead lines - take 'Nothing Is Forever' for instance. Sco is joined by bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Bill Stewart and you get lots of space with this set-up and sonically some glorious separation in all the instruments so that you can really hear what each is doing. Sco, Stewart and Archer play London at the Forge in London's Camden on 7 and 8 November.

Tags: Reviews

Johnny Hunter, A Consequence in Three Parts, Efpi ****

The first thing that struck us on this album of UK drummer Johnny Hunter's compositions is the plangent Tomasz Stanko-like contribution of trumpeter Graham South on the opening 'Emergence'. Mainly comprised of the 'Consequence' suite (again South …

Published: 17 Oct 2023. Updated: 7 months.

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The first thing that struck us on this album of UK drummer Johnny Hunter's compositions is the plangent Tomasz Stanko-like contribution of trumpeter Graham South on the opening 'Emergence'. Mainly comprised of the 'Consequence' suite (again South recalls the late great Polish trumpeter on the more cheerful first piece of the suite) there is plenty of feisty interplay between South and tenor saxist Mark Hanslip. We liked the stillness of the opening of the second piece of the suite and you get an idea of the open percussiveness that is at the heart of Hunter's approach when he can be a little Tony Oxley-like even. Bassist Seth Bennett is a fairly stately presence at times and does a lot to ground the obliqueness of the harmonies. While certainly free-ish in places there is a solid structure and dynamic sense of adventure in Hunter's pieces that suggest firm discipline and layers of development in both the writing and the band's interconnectedness. Highlights of this Manchester studio album recorded four years ago include the Warne Marsh-like solo Hanslip delivers on the third of the 'Consequence' pieces. Worth discovering.