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.
There are "loud" moments on this studio set, but the title cut's name is more a humorous attempt to describe the John Scofield Quartet's music than an accurate depiction of their style. The leader/guitarist, who sounds typically distinctive, welcomes guest keyboardist George Duke to five of his nine originals. Scofield's regular group of the era consisted of keyboardist Robert Aries, electric bassist Gary Grainger and drummer Dennis Chambers and they are also joined here by percussionist Don Alias.
Medeski, Martin & Wood are among the busiest acts in the music biz. To celebrate their 20-year anniversary in 2011, the group has been releasing its latest album, 20, track by track. Also this year, following the grand Radiolarians series, they decided to issue its DVD portion, Fly in a Bottle, as a separate package; finally, there's MSMW Live: In Case the World Changes Its Mind, an utterly kinetic recording from their 2006 tour with jazz guitar boss John Scofield. In 1997 the trio backed Sco on his stellar A Go Go album. He returned the favor in 2006 by playing on MMW's Out Louder; this tour followed. The double disc collects performances from both recordings and a couple of others.
On A Moment’s Peace, his followup to 2009’s gospel-drenched Piety Street, Scofield and his all-star crew of pianist/organist Larry Goldings, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade luxuriate in ballads associated with such legendary interpreters of song as Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone and John Coltrane.
Guitarist John Scofield's debut as a leader was originally cut for the Japanese Trio label. Scofield's sound was already pretty recognizable this early in his career, although his playing was more funk-oriented than it would become. Scofield is teamed with bassist Clint Houston, drummer Motohiko Hino and (on two of the six selections) trumpeter Terumasa Hino. "Amy" is taken as an unaccompanied guitar solo, which gives the date a bit more variety. The music still sounds pretty strong over two decades later, although for John Scofield, there would be many more steps forward in his future development.