JOHN SCOFIELD

PIETY STREET

2009-04-15

Jazz guitarist John Scofield has channeled his long time desire to do a blues disc into this effort which is billed as a gospel release. Featuring songs by the “father of gospel music”, Thomas A. Dorsey, who first combined gospel with jazz and blues, "The Old Ship of Zion" and "Never Turn Back" as well as Dorthy Coates’ classic "99 and Half", Hank Williams, "The Angel of Death" and even a couple of self-penned numbers this set does, indeed, have gospel roots but for the most part isn’t driven by the high energy “testifying” you find at the House of Blues’ Gospel brunch. Instead, Scofield has joined forces with some of the funkiest musicians in New Orleans including Jon Cleary on keyboards and vocals, George Porter, Jr. on bass, Ricky Fataar on drums, John Boutte on vocals and Shannon Powell on tambourine and drums to craft a disc that will get your mind, body and soul all shaking at once. Ever the consummate musician, Scofield lays down impeccably tasty jazz oriented riffs that evoke George Benson and add rich sonic counterpoints to Cleary’s rollicking piano and the thoughtful lyrics. But this isn’t all just tasteful reserved stuff: Those who can’t imagine gospel without a bit of hand-clapping should proceed directly to the Rev. James Cleveland’s "Something’s Got a Hold On Me" while those who need that Gospel Brunch high should check out the upbeat "It’s a Big Army". Can I get an Amen!! Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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