Home of Twang

Home of Twang

I love this song. The rest of the album is pretty much Jazz, but this is something altogether different. It is nothing but music of the highest, most transcendent order. Bill Frisell kills on acoustic guitar, and it is a distinct pleasure just listening to the rhythm section of Charlie Haden and Joey Baron. Horns are Randy Brecker, John Clark, and Jim Pugh. Astonishing music.

John Scofield (born December 26, 1951 in Dayton, Ohio), often referred to as “Sco,” is an American jazz guitarist and composer, who has played and collaborated with Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Charles Mingus, Joey Defrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Pat Martino, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Billy Cobham, Medeski Martin & Wood, George Duke, Jaco Pastorius, and many 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 in his life, Scofield’s family left Ohio and relocated to the small, then mostly rural location of Wilton, Connecticut; it was here that he discovered his interest in music.

In 1992, Scofield released Grace Under Pressure, featuring fellow guitarist Bill Frisell, with Charlie Haden on bass and Joey Baron on drums.


18 thoughts on “Twang

  1. From the very first time I heard John Scofield I hated his guitar tone and I still do.
    This track to me is nothing but a big jack-off of noodling BS. His over use of lame pedal effects like whatever flange/chorus deal he’s using and some kind of manufactured distortion leave me very cold. His amp even sounds like a solid state piece of shit…harsh with no warmth or sustain. There seems to be nothing natural about it. I’m sorry but I’m very at odds with this guy. Now Charlie Haden, that’s a completely different story…too bad he got mixed up in something like this. If I want to hear some modern “jazz” guitar (which I’m not a big fan of in the first place) give me James “Blood” Ulmer or Sonny Sharrock…even some John Mclaughlin. Any one of these guys can run circles around this Scofield idiot…or on the flip…The LP “Basic” by Robert Quine and Fred Maher. Talk about transcendent playing…and in a low-fi recorded format to boot! This track “Twang” might be a “TEN” on a Scofield (over-rated hack) scale but a negative Ten on any other musical scale for me. Now I’m gonna go take a deep breath…..
    ~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~*** and have a shot of rum.

  2. The scofield scale rates the hotness of chili peppers, which I was eating when listening to the track. Perhaps that affected my judgement.

    Mommy, Daddy, please don’t fight….

  3. I have this album because Bill Frisell, Joey Baron and Charlie Haden are on it. I never thought about the tone, except I’m thankful it isn’t too jazzy. I’m sorry he plays an Ibanez.
    When I listen to this song, John Scofield’s guitar is only a single element in an arrangement that floats my boat.
    It’s the interplay of the ensemble I find compelling. Every time the horns come around I’m transported to a sunny place by the water with a nice mixed drink in my hand. I’m wearing a big straw hat and sunglasses. Real Hawaiian shirt and flip flops. There are women around. Everything’s chill. That’s all I’m saying.

  4. Okay, I tried to choke this down once more. I’ll admit that the drum/bass combo is a-okay and recorded very nicely. I just couldn’t get past his “playing” and feel the need to make a job of digging deeper into any song on the planet that turns me off from the get-go. Why did Chris let this autographed copy leave his hot little hands anyway? I wasn’t even going to bring in the fact about his Ibanez Artist Model in my last tirade. I thought that would have been a cheap shot. I had one of them in my shop years ago and believe it or not, they are fine instruments ( I wouldn’t own one personally) but they can sound much more lyrical than what Johnny Boy wrangles out of his. When I hear the same old tone that moves from the novice-tinged over effected to a jocky Al Di Meola technocratic mud, it reminds me of how Tom Waits has written the same stupid record for the last twenty albums…oops! All one needs is just one of either one of these joker’s records to get the whole story. Now what have I done? Have fun on your deserted island but don’t play this shit for all of the women wandering around. I guess I won’t be getting a postcard. You know I love you! This has probably been my favourite posting to date! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

  5. There’s a reason I only posted one song by this guy. It’s the only one I’ve heard all the way through! To me it’s a nice cut by Frisell, Haden, and Baron with some guy sitting in on guitar that doesn’t get in the way of the rhythm section too much. I like that his playing doesn’t sound like Jazz. If anything I think he sounds like Bill Frisell on this cut. I don’t know what Al Dimeola sounds like, although I have some records he’s on. Since you feel so strongly about “Sco”, does that means you’ve heard those terrrible Miles Davis albums he contirbutes to? Anyway I’ll take your comments as a warning to, in the future, approach this artist with caution. Thank you for your concern about my hearing and whatever collateral brain damage might be caused by prolonged exposure. Jimi used to say, “We tune, because we care about your ears”. Those Ibanez are nice instruments, but I wouldn’t have one either. Thanks for the second try. There are plenty of worse ways to waste your time.
    And don’t get me started about Tom Waits and “Swordfish Trombones”.

  6. Swordfish Trombones?….how clever. How about Trout Mask Replica? Swordfish Trombones? Swordfish Trombones??? Don’t get you started? Yeah you and what pabulum army? It’s pure drivel! Rain Dogs? Who fucking cares? Gimme a couple pots and pans and some Harmony H-22 shitty sounding guitars and amps with speakers that are full o’ holes in the cones, a phony Satchmo vocal and I’m sold! Slide whistles? Tom Waits used to say that punk rock was bullshit. He can eat my ass out. Where am I going now? I guess just on another tangent…Yes, I have every Miles record that was probably ever made…that’s when I probably started to hate “Sco”. How about this gig? Miles Davis (tp, voice) Ray Barretto, Kurtis Blow, Duke Bootee, The Fat Boys, Peter Garrett, Melle Mel, Sonny Okosuns, Scorpio And The Malopoets, Gil Scott-Heron, Peter Wolf, Big Youth (voice) and others. NYC, early September, 1985. Miles had an open mind and finally lost this Scofield clown in the mid 80’s. Please don’t ever take my comments as a warning…I’m happy when I’m unleashing pent up musical fear and hatred with my fingers on the keypad. I’m very glad to have the opportunity to say something that’s always bugged me. Thanks for this forum! Once again, you admittedly say that this is the only song you’ve heard all the way through… there’s a reason for that. He sucks and he ain’t really never done nothin’ worth “an lp’s worth of tunes”…Thanks to Todd Rundgren for that quote. There is so much great Jazz out there that’s alive (Greg Osby) and this guy, “Sco” has never been that to me. I have this feeling like guitars really don’t belong in jazz and never should have, save for Charlie Christian and the Kessel…Burrell flow that followed that great path. Fuck. I would dare say I could play this kind of “Sco” crap without even trying. Gimme that Flange Boy…ain’t no fat Man’s toy! Now, watch and listen to the idiosyncratic tone of this great guitar hero…hmmm? Turdsville.

  7. Hey PV!
    I forgot to thank you about the education with the Scofield Scale!
    It seems a bit strange to me though, that one cup of Habanero chilies might be calmed by 250,000 cups of sugar! I’m gonna give it a go nonetheless!

  8. Huh? Why?
    I’m just starting to have a go at this moron.
    Sorry….I’m gonna start a movie review blog like yours. Stay tuned.
    I hate movies more than music…yes let’s move on…to…….that band…what’s their name? Abraham Lincoln & The Orange Zest Holocaust Ronnie Dawson Cookie Buns.
    Thanks for my favourite mess on the Internets!

  9. I believe everything I post is worth hearing at least once. I’ve been exercising restraint because I don’t want to encourage a hostile environment on my blog. We’re a big tent here. No need for argument. Music can be a very personal experience. I watched the Scofield, (well, part of it) video you sent and what I got from it is that his playing is not fluid, he doesn’t play long runs, and in fact comes off as a little constipated. He squeezes out little grapes, or splatters, but no foot long satisfying logs. However, I’ll say this in John Scofield’s defense, he plays in the pocket and is a pretty fair rhythm guitarist. Otherwise there wouldn’t be such a sense of fun in the ensemble playing on Twang. It doesn’t sound like Charlie, Joey, and Bill, all top flight players, are thinking about their pay check.
    Maybe I relate because I can’t play Jazz guitar either, but I’m in the pocket so drummers are willing play with me.

  10. Alan,
    Quite honestly, there is no hostility implied here. I’m sitting here saying what I want to say and find myself laughing out loud that anyone (me) might be a cyber loudmouth with what might be concieved as real or tongue in cheek. I know you know me and I would never really want to incite anything negative in conjunction with this, my favourite blog in the blogosphere. Thanks for giving me something to do while my guitar shop gently weeps…wanna buy a pick? I’m broke.

  11. I checked company policy and as blogger/mediator I am to refrain from calling anyone an idiot, or escalating hostile trends. It is perfectly ok for other people to engage in that activity while writing comments, however. We honor the whatever amendment that falls under.

  12. We’re all going to rehab/family therapy together, just as soon as this whole Holiday mess is over with. We’ll play frisbee with various Tom Waits, Late period Miles, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Return to Forever albums. Call it Jazzercize.

    “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”

    – Robert Browning

  13. Return to Forever has that Dimeola dude on it. I remember tripping my brains out, and my friend McShiva put on “Romantic Warrior”. Talk about messing with my head! I got the record and threw it across the room. It was either me or it. As an antidote I put on Bowie’s “Scary Monsters” (which was just out, in 1980). The only problem there was “Fashion” which gets older than “Fame”, but quicker.

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