Sunday, June 07, 2009

Music notes--Piety Street

I am one of the few people, I presume, who heard That’s What I Say, John Scofield’s tribute to Ray Charles, and got tired of it quickly. The playing was fine and the songs were good, but I guess I had not warmed up to singing along with Scofield’s fun and fuzzy guitar. But his latest project, Piety Street, may have me changing my mind.

In Piety Street, Scofield explores both blues and gospel. I already knew that he could play a mean blues guitar, and he certainly does not disappoint here, though some may feel the sound is a bit subdued. I happen to like this subdued sound. Piano and keyboard player Jon Cleary and John Boutte take on the vocals here and really shine. These tunes won’t make the listener feel likes she or he has been in church, but the spirit is definitely not missing here. Like Scofield’s guitar, these tunes are gritty and sweet at the same time.

I hope I can catch John Scofield as he tours with this material. I suspect it will sound terrific with the rest of his set, distinctive as this disc is.

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