Friday, January 06, 2012

Music Notes – A Moment’s Peace

I've been listening to this album much of the day today (not all, because Spotify won't allow me access to the track "I Want to Talk About You" without me shelling out some money), and I must say the listening has been a welcome delight. John Scofield has always excelled at ballad and soulful blues guitar, but this disc provides a fine combination of the two that has me nodding my head much of the way through, especially on standards like "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You?" and "I Loves You Porgy.

The Carla Bley tune "Lawns" and "Johan" have  beautiful, warm tones. They are the kind of songs that make the listener actually want to be in smoky nightclub. Or a church. I don't know why those images came to me, but listen and I think you'll feel the same way.
"Mood Returns" and Scofield's rendition of the Beatle's "I Will" are snappy without being loud. The heads are catchy and improvisations are toe-tap worthy.

"Plain Song" reminds me of a Pat Metheny tune from from the New Chautaugua or Watercolors days. But this is a Scofield ballad through and through, less ethereal than those Metheny projects, but with a similar introspective feel.

Larry Golding's work on piano and organ is really fine, accentuating and not just accompanying the sweet notes ringing from Scofield's guitar. Their interplay on "I Loves You Porgy," which closes the disc, is particularly tasty. All the other performers here provide their usual good work, but Golding's contribution is particularly valuable to this project.

A Moment's Peace fits, for me, very nicely into the playlist of mellow music that Grace Under Pressure and Quiet often occupies.  (A nice introduction to Mr. Scofield's earlier ballad work can be found on Slo Sco. But for now, this new disc has certainly helped me through at least one crappy day.

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