John Scofield’s latest album, Swallow Tales, was released on June 12, 2020.
John celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, made in a day in New York in March 2019 — “old school” style as Scofield says, while acknowledging that more than forty years of preparation led up to it. John was a 20-year-old student at Berklee when he first met and played with the bassist, and they have continued ever since. “I love these songs”, says Scofield of the selection of Swallow compositions explored here — a broad range including classics such as “Hullo Bolinas”, “Eiderdown”, “Falling Grace” and “Radio”, as well as lesser-known works. The rapport between Scofield and Swallow is evident in every moment. John: “Sometimes when we play it’s like one big guitar, the bass part and my part together.” Behind the drum kit, Bill Stewart, a close associate of Scofield’s since the early 90s, is alert to all the implications of the interaction. “What Bill does is more than ‘playing the drums,’” Scofield says. “He’s a melodic voice in the music, while also swinging really hard.”