It was nice to open up the folder to post this review and be able to read the posts about the Salt Lake show, thanks folks!
Last night was the first of two nights at Jazz Alley. One 90 minute set each night starting at 7:30. I got there just in time to order an ale, some Ahi tuna for an appetizer, and a lamb shank entree that looked like something Hagar the Horrible would gnaw on. My buddy David had hooked me up with a 2-for-1 pass last time I was down there, so I took my employee Ross and we ended up getting styled with a great seat that afforded us a direct view of Sco. The room was packed but didn't feel overcrowded, the sound was top-notch and the crowd was a respectful and appreciative group of Jazzbos.
As Gunnar stated in the other thread, Bill Stewart was quite impressive on the traps. The comparison to Roy Haynes isn't far off the mark. Max Roach, Kenny Clarke, Art Blakey, Ralph Peterson, Tain Watts, etc. You get the picture, muscular, straight ahead hard-bop drumming with nice lighter flourishes on the snare. Steve Swallow was also a joy. The guy looks like a thinner version on Uncle Fester, and looks to be in his late 60's but is an inventive player and is a great listener. I was familiar with him through his work with Carla Bley, but had never seen him live before. Both he and Stewart gave revelatory performances.
Scofield was interesting. I've always been on the fence with him. The stream from Bonnaroo didn't do much for me last year, and while he has that "played with Miles" tag, the Miles' records he played on are not my favorites. He gave a pretty solid performance last night, although he claimed to be having trouble getting in tune, although he humorously brushed it off. He does have a nice sense of humor and seems humble and supportive of the jazz scene, and appreciative of a good listening audience. He was doing a lot of material from a new album in the works, some of it he called out the titles for and some he didn't. The unnamed ones are the "jam" tunes in the setlist. The highlights for me were the free jazz jam, the set ending Miles cover "The Low Road" and the "We" encore from the Charlie "Yardbird" Parker catalog. Sco made some funny comments after the free jazz tune about how you always have to play the free jazz in Seattle. Denver too. And free jazz harmonica in Tulsa! He had some tunes on that song that sounded like he was channeling our most famous native son, Jimi Hendrix. He claimed that the classic rock covers were due to a continued fondness for the tunes he played in high school.
Here's the setlist as best as I could make out.
John Scofield, Steve Swallow & Bill Stewart
Dimitriou's Jazz Alley
April 3, 2007
House Of The Rising Sun
Jam (sounded similar to "Makin' Whoopee")
Free Jazz Jam
Standard tune (couldn't make it out)
The Low Road (Miles Davis composition)
We (Charlie Parker composition)
*=tunes from upcoming album
FWIW, here are my set list notes (with some titles updated per Java_Dave's set list notes) for the show I saw last year, relative to Sco's "banter":
John Scofield Jazz Trio
We (I thought it was "Wee!"; I am so uncool, I didn't even know it was a tune Bird did)
Strangeness In The Night (new, per Sco)
Heck Of A Job
Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
??? (jazz improv)
... Big Top (there are a couple with that in the name; not sure which one it was?)
E: Shoo Dog
Possible lineup (90% sure):
Sco - guitar
Larry Grenadier - bass (I don't think it was Steve Swallow)
Bill Stewart -drums
Now you guys have me thinking that I should blow off the Nuggets-Mavs game and go up to Boulder.
Thanks for the review. Im going to see Scofield for my first time tomorrow in Boulder at Macky Aud. Should be a great show. Ive never seen Scofield, but have a great idea what to expect. Kelly and I very look much forward to tomorrow. Ill keep you guys posted although I am not familiar with his work.
I agree with the Hendrix reference. Scofield's last tune of set 2 on Monday was Over Big Top" and the solo in it got very carried away. Hendrix is the only player that remotely resembled the tricks John whipped out during that tune.
Rider is right, the Bird tune is called "Wee" not "We", as I listed it. It's on the "Jazz at Massey Hall" album.
Hope you and Kelly enjoy the show tonight Tar!
Couldn't make it back to Jazz Alley last night for Round Two as I had a run-in with a bottle of Makers and some old memories. Damn skeletons in the closet;-')
Never been to Jazz Alley before, but I will have to mark it on my list of must see Seattle Venues.. Last time I was there I was lookin for trouble. Next time I visit, hopefully there will be a good act.
The show must have been great, I love Scofield!!