Several years ago, guitarist John Scofield completed an interesting album called Quiet, a ballad based LP with Scofield playing mostly acoustic guitar and featuring guest appearances from Wayne Shorter. This new album moves back into ballad territory, but with Scofield sticking primarily to electric guitar, accompanied by a top notch trio consisting of Larry Goldings on piano and organ, Scott Colley on bass and Brian Blade on drums. The music consists of pleasant guitar with brushes and piano and light organ swirls with a focus on melody and accessibility. Scofield's sharp tinged yet mellow guitar borders on smooth jazz at times while never quite succumbing. Spaciousness is the key to the music, especially on the standard highlight "I Want to Talk About You" which suits the band well and features and excellent guitar solo, raining like mellow fire amongst the well adapted, yet tasteful backdrop. The gentle sting of the guitar is well played and works well here with an eye turned toward the familiar melody. Scofield even adds a an unaccompanied tag ending to the performance, much like John Coltrane did when he played this song on the Live at Birdland album. "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You" takes thing in a bluesy direction, building an atmospheric slow blues featuring melodic late-night guitar with swirling organ accents and tasteful drumming. A Moment's Peace - amazon.com
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Ron Stabinsky - Free For One (HotCup, 2016) ****
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