Filmed in High Definition, the footage captures eminent and highly-influential guitarist John Scofield with his quartet, largely performing within the progressive-jazz quartet mold, featuring longtime collaborator, drummer Bill Stewart. Captured at a Paris, France venue, Scofield’s animated and poetic delivery is in full form as he perpetuates his expressive bop imagery in concert with funky acid-jazz interludes and soul-blues inflections.
Throughout the program, the guitarist aligns with keyboardist Michael Eckroth for call/response mechanisms and melodic unison choruses. On Dizzy Gillespie’s “Woody ‘N You,” Stewart and bassist Ben Street lay out a brisk and snappy bop pulse. Here, the drummer smacks, crackles and pops the current via punctuating rim-shots followed by Sco’s adroit soloing jaunts. In other regions of sound and scope, the band dishes out peppery swing vamps amid solid employment of depth and space.
The artists project a vivacious gait to complement a few nicely-placed, off-center workouts and Sco’s use of the EFX pedals. Comprised of Sco’s original comps, jazz standards and timeless pop fare, the musicians sport a divergent track mix. And they get down and dirty on the leader’s “Groove Elation,” highlighted by a promiscuous bump and grind vibe. Moreover, Sco leads the charge with a touch of distortion atop Stewart’s funky shuffle beats and Eckroth’s feisty Hammond B3 sounds, executed on his electric keyboard. A good time was had by all as they say, and that notion is reaffirmed by the audience’s jubilant appreciation of the quartet’s sterling technical faculties and upbeat stage persona.