John Scofield has been one of the most important and influential jazz guitarists and composers in the world since he first arrived on the scene back in the mid '70s. He has played and collaborated with such jazz legends as George Duke, Charles Mingus, Jaco Pastorius, and Miles Davis, and has gone on to release over 30 albums under his own name since releasing his self-titled debut in 1977.
Admittedly, the type of traditional jazz that Scofield plays has never really been my thing. Whenever I need the occasional jazz guitar fix, I will usually turn to jazz fusion guys like Al DiMeola, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Frank Gambale, or Mike Stern, who tend to fuse more rock and blues into the mix. Listening to instrumental jazz guitar can be about as easy as listening to speed metal. It's typically not something you're going to play in the background as you are cooking the evening meal, like you might do with a smooth jazz album from Lee Ritenour. This style really requires your focus and attention to truly reap the full benefits. I nearly broke out in a sweat halfway through the first track on this DVD.
New Morning: The Paris Concert was filmed in high definition at the New Morning club in Paris, France on April 23rd, 2010. The DVD immediately dives into the performance just as Scofield is plucking the first few notes of the opening track, "Ten Taken." Being more accustomed to rock and blues, I often found myself thinking that Scofield was hitting a lot of wrong notes, which is obviously not the case, but since jazz guitarists rarely stay within the bounds of the common pentatonic and blues scales that our ears are more accustomed to hearing, it can take your brain some time to wrap around these strange notes it is hearing.