John Scofield Biography
John Scofield (born December 26, 1951 in Dayton, Ohio) is an American jazz guitarist and composer, who played and eventually collaborated with Miles Davis, Billy Cobham, Medeski Martin & Wood, and other important artists. At ease in the bebop idiom, Scofield is also well versed in jazz fusion, funk, blues, soul, and other forms of modern American music.
Early on in life, Scofield's family relocated to the small, mostly rural location of Wilton, Connecticut; it was here that he discovered his interest in music. Educated at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, Scofield eventually joined jazz fusion groups, playing with the likes of Billy Cobham. He recorded with Charles Mingus in 1976, and replaced Pat Metheny in Gary Burton's quartet. In autumn 1976 he signed a contract with Enja Records, and he released his first album East Meets West in 1977. In 1979 he formed a trio with Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum. He later joined Miles Davis, with whom he remained until 1985.
While still with Davis, he released the Electric Outlet (1984). Still Warm (1985) followed after he left Davis's group.
At the beginning of the 1990s, he formed a quartet with Joe Lovano with whom he recorded several important albums for Blue Note Records. Time on My Hands (1990), with Lovano, Charlie Haden and Jack DeJohnette, showcased Scofield's guitar and Mingus-influenced writing. Bill Stewart subsequently became the group's drummer, and played on Meant To Be (1991) and What We Do (1993). In 1992, Scofield released Grace Under Pressure, featuring fellow guitarist Bill Frisell, with Charlie Haden on bass and Joey Baron on drums. Stewart rejoined for the 1994 collaboration with Pat Metheny, I Can See Your House From Here.
Towards the end of his tenure with Blue Note, Scofield returned to a more funk and soul jazz-oriented sound, a direction which has dominated much of his subsequent output. At this time, he also started performing with various jambands, and even performed with DJ Logic to cover Phish's "Cars Trucks Buses", on Sharin in the Groove (2001).
He released Überjam in 2002 and Up All Night in 2004, two albums on which he experiments with drum n bass and other modern rhythms. Late 2004 saw the release of EnRoute, which features the jazz trio of John Scofield, Steve Swallow on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. It was recorded live at The Blue Note in NYC in December 2003.
Scofield is currently serving as an adjunct faculty member in the Jazz Department at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education.
Scofield is endorsed by Ibanez guitars. His signature guitar, the JSM100, is based on his longtime stage and recording guitar, a 1981 Ibanez AS200 (a model based on Gibson's ES-335) and, according to him, one of the best semi-acoustics ever built.
On September 26, 2006 he released Out Louder, his second collaborative effort album with jazz trio Medeski Martin & Wood.