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John Scofield – Combo 66 (2018 24/96 FLAC)

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John Scofield - Combo 66 (2018 24/96 FLAC)

John Scofield – Combo 66 (2018 24/96 FLAC)

Artist: John Scofield
Album: Combo 66
Release/Reissue: 2018
Genre: Jazz

01. Can’t Dance
02. Combo Theme
03. Icons At The Fair
04. Willa Jean
05. Uncle Southern
06. Dang Swing
07. New Waltzo
08. I’m Sleeping In
09. King Of Belgium

At 66 years old, Sco remains fascinating. With about fifty albums as either the lead artist or under a shared credit, the guitarist from Ohio always finds interesting stories to tell. This time he uses a four piece including his old friend and drummer Bill Stewart (with whom he’s been playing since 1992!), bassist Vincente Archer (a member of Robert Glasper’s trio), and organist and pianist (keyboard) Gerald Clayton. “Guitar and keyboard are not always the easiest mix. Because of its percussive nature, the piano is relatively similar to the guitar. But Gerald has a beautiful touch and though he is quite modern, his style reminds me of Hank Jones or Tommy Flanagan, and that really is a beautiful legato sound that works well with the guitar.”

Armed with his Ibanez AS200, John Scofield, aware of the guitar/keyboard clash, carefully delivers progressions and improvisations that perfectly complement Clayton’s playing style. Their back-and-forths send sparks flying on the up-tempo tracks such as Willa Jean and New Waltzo. The real success of this album is found in the way it puts the emphasis on swing, an eternal swing, like on King of Belgium. The track that closes Combo 66 is a homage to the Belgian harmonica master, Toots Thielemans, a man full of humanity and gifted with a wonderful sense of humour, a quality he shared with John Scofield. “If you can’t have fun playing music, go home! I always take jazz very seriously, but the fact is that it only works if you are relaxed and you don’t worry. If you try too hard, it simply doesn’t work. Humour really helps me find a better place with music.”