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Interview: John Scofield



I’ve spoken with Sco a few times. One of my favorite NGW memories is when we brought his trio to the jazz summit and they just blew everyone’s minds. Complete improvisational freedom. You never feel lost when listening to Sco, just amazed that no matter what he plays his sound just sticks out. Now that he is bringing Überjam back after about a decade, I get the feeling that his music will open the years of many young festival-goers who will surrender to the groove.

In this interview we talk about his new project, how he approaches each group he plays in, and what is was like learning (or trying to learn) all those Dead tunes.

Did the first wave of what we now consider jam bands—like the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers—influence you when you were younger?

Well, I consider Hendrix and Cream jazz-influenced. They were rock groups that took the idea of jazz, in that they played extended solos and improvised together. I see that as an extension of the jazz music from the ’60s and really jazz in general. Labeling these different genres gets pretty confusing and it gets hard to do. Even when the labels are right, there’s always something wrong about it. [Laughs.]

John Scofield – Uncle John’s Electro-Jam Band