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John Scofield Talks About His New Album, “Uncle John’s Band”



In this exclusive JGT interview, John Scofield talks to JGT’s Bob Bakert about his new album, “Uncle John’s Band” – Release: October 13, 2023

Named for the Grateful Dead song that concludes this double album, Uncle John’s Band features masterful guitarist John Scofield at his most freewheeling. Wide-ranging repertoire finds his trio with Vicente Archer and Bill Stewart tackling material from Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” to Neil Young’s “Old Man”, from Leonard Bernstein’s “Somewhere” to the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool classic “Budo”. And jazz standards including “Stairway to the Stars” and “Ray’s Idea” rub shoulders with seven far-reaching Scofield originals that are variously swing, funk, and folk-inflected. The red thread through the program is the trio’s improvisational verve. “I feel like we can go anywhere,” says John Scofield of the group’s multi-directional versatility, and they do. The opening “Tambourine Man” for instance begins almost in the spirit of raga, before the theme emerges, lilting and country-flavored, and the improvisation opens up a new space where “we don’t follow a form but play freely,” with Vicente Archer’s heartfelt solo an early highlight. From moment to moment, the group embraces the structures of the pieces it plays, then stretches and liberates them. “All the compositions are vehicles for us to improvise on,” Scofield told rock magazine Relix recently. “All are equally important to me.”

John Scofield: guitar; Vicente Archer: double bass; Bill Stewart: drums

Uncle John’s Band was recorded at Clubhouse Studio in Rhinebeck, New York, in August 2022. The album includes liner notes, with commentary on each track, by John Scofield. 

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