1. Simply Put
2. I Will
4. Throw it Away
5. I Want to Talk about You
6. Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You
8. Mood Returns
9. Already September
10. You Don't Know What Love Is
11. Plain Song
12. I Loves You Porgy
John Scofield - Guitar
Larry Goldings - Piano, organ
Scott Colley - Bass
Brian Blade - Drums
In 2007, I began a review of a John Scofield album by saying that he "is nothing if not eclectic". John has played in all kinds of styles during several decades, from rock to jazz and from soft (playing acoustic guitar on the 1996 album Quiet) to very loud (the 2006 CD Saudades with his Trio Beyond, which led me to say "If you have ears, prepare to shed them now").
On this album, he returns to his quiet mode, backed only by keyboards, bass and drums and predominantly playing ballads. The prevailing slowness of the tunes makes one track merge into another, as they seem almost indistinguishable from one another. Scofield is an expressive player but there is little variety in pace or mood. Most of the pieces are wistful, with those occasional hints of country music which we are used to hearing from Scofield.
The only tracks which brighten the lethargic mood are I Want to Talk about You and Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You, which both encourage a more extrovert, bluesy feeling. These are the only items which actually give Brian Blade some purpose in his drumming, as on most other tracks he adds little except for irrelevant interventions, seemingly designed to break up the rhythm.
Larry Goldings can usually be depended upon to lift the vitality level and he provides admirable support for the guitar and creates some tasteful solos. Yet even he seems to be overtaken by the general somnolence.
John Scofield sums up the CD by saying "It's an album of slow,
gentle music. But at the same time, we didn't want it to be easy listening".
However, that is largely what it turned out to be.