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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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This Meets That

Emarcy 0602517340855





1. The Low Road
2. Down D
3. Strangeness in the Night
4. Heck of a Job
5. Behind Closed Doors
6. House of the Rising Sun
7. Shoe Dog
8. Memorette
9. Trio Blues
10. Pretty Out
11. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction
John Scofield – Guitar
Steve Swallow – Electric bass
Bill Stewart – Drums
Roger Rosenberg – Baritone sax, bass clarinet
Lawrence Feldman – Tenor sax, flutes
Jim Pugh – Trombone
John Swana – Trumpet, flugelhorn
Bill Frisell – Tremolo guitar (track 6)

Guitarist John Scofield is nothing if not eclectic, and this album contains an almost bewildering variety of sounds and styles. You may be immediately put off by the discordant guitar noises that open the first track, The Low Road, which develops into a funky blues, with Scofield’s twanging guitar firmly backed by the four-man horn section and the muscular bass and drums of Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart. The Scofield/Swallow/Stewart trio are old friends who work telepathically together. The next track, Down D, sounds like Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring played on the bagpipes, with the guitar adopting a keening Scottish tinge. But Strangeness in the Night is more like a piece of big-band jazz, with the horns playing an important role and Scofield taking a jazzy solo.

The mood changes again for Heck of a Job, which has the rolling marching rhythm of New Orleans. Then we move into country-and-western with Behind Closed Doors, a hit for Charlie Rich in 1974. Fellow-guitarist Bill Frisell joins John for House of the Rising Sun – another old hit song (for the Animals in 1964), with the two guitarists clearly enjoying their interplay. Another hit tune from a year later, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction closes the album, in heavy-rock mode – one might almost say ponderous. In between we get three Scofield originals and a fairly free piece called Pretty Out, where Scofield’s guitar is double-tracked and Bill Stewart’s drums are featured.

The almost anarchic noisiness of some tracks may well deter some listeners, although others will be intrigued by the large sound palette. Scofield and his colleagues play with obvious conviction, but I am not entirely convinced that this is a great album. File it under "Interesting".

Tony Augarde





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