The third studio meeting in nearly 17 years between Medeski, Martin & Wood and guitarist John Scofield has no easy referent to their earlier recordings – purposely. This quartet sounds like a real band on Juice, which is a mixed blessing. The positive aspect is that this longtime collaboration creates near instinctive communication. This is a much more inside date, though the rhythmic interplay between bassist Chris Wood and drummer Billy Martin is outstanding throughout.
When guitarist Bill Frisell first began a more decided focus on roots music, bluegrass and country & western music with the release of 1996's Nashville (Nonesuch), despite being largely very well-received, jazz purists rankled when the largely bluegrass/folk-informed album began to garner awards like Downbeat Magazine's Best Jazz Album of the Year. While Frisell's oftentimes Americana-tinged work has, in the ensuing years, become more fully accepted for the wonderful music that it is, fellow six-stringer John Scofield is unlikely to find himself the subject of such purist criticism with Country for Old Men.
Guitar wizards John Scofield and Pat Metheny have consistently made commercially successful, accessible music while remaining true to their improvisational leanings. It's no surprise that their collaboration sounds so relaxed, fluid, and musically serene. Listeners shouldn't necessarily expect a series of slashing duels, but it's certainly not vapid new age or retrograde fusion. Scofield and Metheny divide compositional duties and play masterful, expressive solos. Guitar fans will be especially impressed with the mastering, which makes Scofield and Metheny's guitars sound right in the room.
Both Volumes I and II of Jazz-Funk Guitar on one DVD. In Volume I, John's multi-faceted style is covered in depth as he discusses intervallic ideas, string-skipping, chordal concepts, playing ideas across the fingerboard, and developing a personal sound. In Volume II, John covers the compositional aspect of his style as he analyzes the songs performed on this DVD and reveals the correct chord voicings and melody lines. Using his own tunes, John goes over concepts such as chromaticism, form, contour, voice-leading, pedal tones, and contrary motion.