"Scofield sounds totally at home in so many musical settings, whether its the (relatively) straightahead live jazz on 2003's "EnRoute" with bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart, or this rollicking funky (and fun) ride from 1998. Here, just when the funk grooves reach meltdown point, Sco and his tighter than tight collaborators Medeski Martin and Wood take it down a few notches and its more of a slow burn. Tunes range in style from the hook-laden, melodic "Jeep on 35" (one member of the band in fact can be heard whistling the melody at a certain point) to the faintly menacing and furiously climactic "Hottentot", which most of my neighbours will also be familiar with by now. Scofield is in a class of his own when it comes to sounding soulful and laid-back and angular and unpredictable all at once (I like to think he'd have hit it off with Thelonious Monk had they belonged to the same era); I think that comes also from the fact that he's not an out-and-out speed demon, trying to bludgeon you into submission with a flurry of notes. If he were a boxer, he'd be one of those ones that wear down their opponent by circling them and picking them off with well-timed, unpredictable combinations and the occasional sneaky blow below the belt. In total control. Great stuff, though definitely a "grower" - I wasn't totally blown away at first myself, so give it a few spins!"
"My first introduction to Scofield was his most recent album "Uberjam". After grooving to that album for a few weeks, I decided this was a guy I needed to better represent in my Jazz collection. So, I did a bit o' research.
Now I've loved Medeski Martin and Wood for a long time - they are by far the best Acid Jazz/Funk/Groove trio I've ever listened too, and I own a number of their albums, and they seldom leave my CD player. So when I discovered they were running backup to Scofield's funky guitar licks and rips, on John's album "A Go Go", I was immediately interested.
Now I'm not one to get too picky, but the album should be titled, "John Scofield and MMW - A Go Go", because it can't be denied that these two separate musical entities are perfectly complementing each other. I never would have believed that adding a guitar, even one of equal trip-potential, would have so benefited the stylings of MMW. And to his credit, Scofield does a marvellous job of leading the sound. This is a perfect harmony of styles and improvisations - the sound that this foursome jams out is incredible. If you are a fan of the acid jazz/funk style, or of Scofield, or of MMW - then buy this CD. It's the best grouping of talent, and the best result of said grouping, that I've ever heard. This is a seamless fusion of a rare and perfectly matched musical union."
Scofield and MMW!!! What More Could You Ask For?
firstname.lastname@example.org | Canberra, Australia | 01/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this album only recently and have never looked back. John Scofield has a distinct sound and feeling that is refreshing to say the least. Some may best describe it as "rough" or "edgy", however I find it to be unique and intriguing.On this particular studio date, Scofield is joined by Medeski, Martin and Wood, who provide the perfect setting for Scofields guitar work. The result is a funky jazz album of high calibre, which never loses the listeners interest. Tracks including Boozer, Jeep On 35 and Chank are amazingly funky thanks to the superior drumming of Billy Martin, whilst Southern Pacific has a more percussive feeling. There is not a single track on this disc that can be considered to be of a lesser standard. This high quality consistancy is welcome, as often MMW tend to adventure into realms that move beyond the groove and into the obscure.If your after funky jazz in a small group environment, then you will be hard pushed to find any better an example than "A Go Go". This CD is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish, remaining deceptively simple in its musical complexity, whilst delivering some truly first class contemporary jazz."
Groove for the 90's
email@example.com | 12/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On "A-Go-Go", John Scofield manages to harness the potential of MMW (never fully realized, in my opinion) to create a groove that hearkens back to yesteryear but is distinctly 90's in vintage. This edgy, funky set will get your hips shaking and your feet tapping. Not for the jazz purist, Scofield still opens up and delivers some biting improvisational sections. But the real story here as with all other music of the genre is the groove."
Breakthrough crossover album, with phenomenal backing.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 05/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Backed by the jazz trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood (MMW) Scofield is allowed to apply his interpretive and free-form jazz style to a solid funk/jazz environment. MMW's work provides a can't-lose framework, to which Scofield applies his grainy, gripping style. The resulting groove is far beyond that of any previous Scofield or MMW album to date. On their own, the two acts beg for the strenghts of the other. Together, they're funkified gold. A must have album."