John Scofield @ Musical Instrument Museum

John Scofield
John Scofield

Location Info


Musical Instrument Museum

4725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050

Category: Museums

Region: North Phoenix


John Scofield's Überjam Band is scheduled to perform Saturday, July 20, at the Musical Instrument Museum.

It's almost scary to think about the music that guitarist John Scofield would have created as a heavy metal artist or as someone who dabbled in psychedelic, prog, or surf rock. Instead, Scofield touches on all these areas together, with his mostly jazz-fusion-ish construct Überjam. Maybe deconstruct would be a more apt term. Scofield and his current band — guitarist Avi Bortnick, drummer Adam Dietch, and bassist Andy Hess — strip jazz to its most basic elements before building it back up into compelling, hard-hitting grooves that tackle the rudimentary rhythmic pulses and highlights of several continents. No single song is beholden to any one musical form: funk, soul, Afro-beat, reggae, house, and tropicalia all find a way into the jazzy mix. Überjam formed in 2002 from a prototypical jazz-heavyweight jam session. But after one self-titled, Grammy-nominated album, these jazz virtuosos simply moved onto other projects. Scofield, for example, did a stylistic 180 in releasing an album of gentle ballads, A Moment's Peace. Bortnick, however, never let go of the notion that Überjam would reform, keeping those beats and grooves in constant upheaval, as the just released Überjam Deux reveals. It's a fine album, but it's on stage where these musicians talents are truly appreciated — wherever the momentary musical direction.

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