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Piety Street

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iTunes Review

On his 37th (!) recording as a bandleader, guitar great John Scofield offers his arrangements of classic old-time gospel songs, plus a few of his own compositions inspired by the form. Joined by an outstanding band of New Orleans-based musicians — George Porter, Jr. on bass, Jon Cleary on keyboards and vocals, Ricky Fataar on drums, John Boutté on vocals, and Shannon Powell on percussion — they get a swinging, down-home bluesy feel throughout, and it sounds like all involved are having a grand time. Scofield’s approach to such chestnuts as “Motherless Child,” “Ninety Nine and a Half,” and “I’ll Fly Away” is reverential and tasteful, while on his own tunes, such as “It’s a Big Army,” he gets a bit grittier and funkier, with soaring guitar bends and trilling organ fills riding a muscular shuffle beat. Compared with much of his other work, whether with Miles Davis in the ‘70s or recent releases with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Piety Street is rather straightforward stuff for a jazz fusion pioneer and virtuoso like Scofield, but this album is clearly about passion and feel more than technical complexity. Amen to that.

Customer Reviews


Picture Scofield playing with the Blindboys and you got the feel of the album. Scofields playing is very out front and in the pocket, the band feels like a traditional gospell band with a hint of New Orleans. The mix has a strong left and right feel for the instruments. Great album should have alot of room to expand in a live venue.

It's Scotime Again!

Sloppy? Simplistic? ......I suppose reviewer 1 also found Hemmingway boring. Scofield is one of the headiest jazzbos in the game, but likes to bring it to the people. (and the people to the jazz!) This is ANOTHER WINNER from John!

John Scofield makes modes

If you play or listen to music, not just jazz but classical, rock, pop, whatever... you understand the importance of phrasing; this is where John Scofield shines. The fellow who listed scofield as a wank guitar player is obviously smoking too much or not enough. (what a dummy) This band is possibly the best assembly of soul for scofield's catalog. I'm sure you've heard of The Meters, their original funk is responsible for most of the r&b, hip hop and the soul we listen to today....Bassist and Vocalist, George Porter of The Meters adds true, pure, deep soul and mixed with Fataar's Fat drumming = a golden recipe. Probably the greatest surprise was Jon Cleary. Cleary is an unnoticed talent the likes of Ray Charles would enjoy and respect. Kudos to Scofield and the boys for putting together a great album and if you get the chance to see this band live....GO!!!


Born: December 26, 1951 in Dayton, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the "big three" of late 20th and early 21st century jazz guitarists (along with Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell), John Scofield's influence grew in the '90s and continued into the 21st century. Possessor of a very distinctive rock-oriented sound that is often a bit distorted, Scofield is a masterful jazz improviser whose music generally falls somewhere between post-bop, fusion, and soul-jazz. He started on guitar while at high school in Connecticut, and from 1970-1973, he studied at Berklee and...
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