Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Works for Me
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Rock
During his illustrious career, John Scofield has cleverly kept abreast of trends, lending his serpentine blues-'n'-jazz riffs to volcanic fusion blowouts, grits and gravy funk, even whisper-soft big-band projects. His cham... more »
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001
During his illustrious career, John Scofield has cleverly kept abreast of trends, lending his serpentine blues-'n'-jazz riffs to volcanic fusion blowouts, grits and gravy funk, even whisper-soft big-band projects. His chameleon approach has shone on such albums as Bump, his seminal fusion recordings Still Warm and Blue Matter, and his bop band workouts with Joe Lovano and Bill Stewart. At his core, Sco is a jazz master, and we long to hear him interact with other giants of the genre. Works for Me answers this expectation generously. What's so compelling about hearing Sco with Billy Higgins, Kenny Garrett, Brad Mehldau, and Christian McBride is the accumulation of the fiery solos each man plays and the mood of each collective note. Higgins is the balloon the band rides here, and Mehldau has never sounded better. Garrett's dense logic is the perfect foil for Sco's charred leads; the intimately crafted songs find each man going deep with each improv. The band's overall crystalline perfection is so relaxing that it's almost mystical. And for all that, they trade fours and eights, a rarity in the pressured world of studio recording. This is an exceptional album that tells its tales with great depth, detail, color, humor, and passion. --Ken Micallef
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Scofield and his "supergroup" make for a killing record
Jeff Hubbard | Lehi, UT United States | 02/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've got a lot to say about this album (I'm listening to it right now, and this is probably my tenth complete listen this week). "Works For Me" is certainly one of the best things Scofield has ever done. His writing and improvising are at least up to the standards of anything that he's done in his career, and the band here (Brad Mehldau, Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, and Billy Higgins) can hardly be faulted on any count. Higgins and McBride make an absolutely ideal rhythm section.One notable aspect of the album is the production, which comes off sounding a LOT like a cleaner (no tape hiss) version of a 60's Blue Note session. I've read that this album was recorded with no baffling of any kind, and that it was recorded direct to two track. As a result, there is a different sort of ambience to the recording; instruments are panned left and right, and there is some bleed over between the tracks. All in all, I find the sound of the record to be one of many of its very appealing qualities.The musical highlights, to my mind, are "Not You Again," a new melody on the changes to "There Will Never Be Another You," especially for Brad Mehldau's constantly just-outside solo over the standard changes (it's incredible the way he walks the line between the changes and playing seemingly out thoughout the entire solo); "Love You Long Time," a gorgeous bossa; and, for Scofield especially, both "Do I Crazy?" and "Heel to Toe," which feature two of the finest examples of his playing on the record. Also, "Hive" starts off quite a lot like one of Ornette Coleman's late fifties tunes, before slipping into a straight swing feel for the improvs.This is a great record. In some ways, it contains my favorite Garrett I've heard to date, and I especially like the way his tone comes across here. And Higgins! It's amazing that he's having such serious liver problems and is still able to play the way he does here. I've heard a lot of Higgins records from throughout his career, and I've never heard him play any better than on this record.Finally, I'll say this: I first heard about this session from Scofield himself about a year ago, right after it was recorded, and I've been waiting not-so-patiently for its release since then. It more than lives up to all the expectations I'd built up since then. I very highly recommend it."
Jazz masterpiece from guitarist Scofield.
musicnu | Deerfield, IL | 03/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One cannot accuse John Scofield of releasing CD's that all sound like each other. Scofield is one of the more adventurous jazz musicians on the scene today. On Hand Jive, he teamed with the late Eddie Harris for a very electric outing and on Bump he was into synth funk. On Works for Me, John releases his most straight ahead jazz CD. John's guitar is joined by Kenny Garrett - alto sax (not KennyG), Brad Meldau - piano, Christian McBride - bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. Scofield's guitar playing is very different from other releases, however it is perfect for the group. If you like jazz, you must have this CD. It is fabulous. These guys just meld into one. You will swear that this must be their third release. Although, I am sure Scofield will change style on his next, he could just stay with this group and I would not be disappointed. I would love to see these guys live. Every time, I listen to this CD, I am still amazed at how good it is. The title says it all - Works for Me!"
+ 1/2 star; Jazz from a jazz musician
George Grella | Brooklyn | 03/02/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"John Scofield is a jazz musician, and he's always played jazz. Fortunately for people who love the music, jazz can encompass a broad range of styles. So, Sco never crossed over to anywhere, and therefore has never had to come home. This is his record, his band, his playing, his music. He's never been anyone except himself.Now, for those who prefer listening to ideology, here's the deal: This is good, solid straight ahead jazz. Not extraordinary or breathtaking, but a nice, tasty listen. Sco's effect-heavy sound does not sit as comfortably in this context as it does on records like "A Go-Go," and Brad Mehldau at times seems to be feeling his way around, and doesn't sound nearly as confident as one is used to, but Kenny Garrett really shines! Nice to hear this guy really playing and expressing himself rather than making his more recent elevator-jazz recordings. And the tunes are typically Sco, lyrical and punchy. For those who enjoy Scofield but don't dig jazz, you'd probably not like this record, but for those who enjoy Scofield *and* dig jazz, it's a nice one."