17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Fast becomming one of my favorites,
This review is from: Up All Night (Audio CD)
John Scofield is one of few players equally at home in the worlds of straight-ahead acoustic jazz and electro-jazz-funk. I prefer him in the former setting (e.g., Works for Me, Scolohofo), but I'm coming to appreciate his work in the latter almost as much (e.g., Uberjam, Up All Night).
This strikes me as Sco's most successful electro-funk outing to date. To my ears there's more of interest going on here: check the subtle interplay on "Creeper," and the deep groove of "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get." Avi Bortnick has become an even more amazing rhythm guitarist in the intervening year and a half since Uberjam. Sounding distinctly like one of the all-time greatest rhythm guitarists, Steve Erquiaga, on "Thikhathali," my favorite cut, which comes across something like a faux-Egyptian-Caribbean-surf number (Dick Dale meets Andy Narell via some weird Middle-East connection?), Bortnick stamps this number with a hip musical sensibility that's absolute perfection.
Several of the numbers feature a killer horn section. Most notable of these is "Four on the Floor," an impossibly bubbly-funky number with a slow burn perfectly suited to the punchy horn approach.
Of special note is the dreamy ballad, "Like the Moon," with Bortnick again contributing some very effective guitar support, this time lots of long tones and bent strings. While the entire number is very atmospheric, there's a killer middle section that redefines the term ethereal, leading into a way cool outro.
The more I listen to this, the more I think Up All Night's a breakthrough for Sco. Whereas his previous electro-funk outings sometimes seemed heavy-handed and half-baked to these ears, everything here's smart, hip, and creative.
A continuation of some of the nattiest jazz releases ever in the first half of any single year.