Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood

February 1, 2007

Nearly a decade ago, John Scofield enlisted the services of rising jam-jazz stars Medeski Martin, & Wood to back him for a fun funk romp called A Go Go. Out Louder is a true collaboration, and it shows. Scofield hasn’t been as frenetically freaked out as on the downtown basement jam “Miles Behind” in, well, ever. It sounds like Dropper-era MMW with Sco getting sick and psychedelic over the top. “Down the Tube” is conceptually similar to the free-form Bitches Brew-era material of Scofield’s former employer, Miles Davis. Scofield whips up a stew of effects, and his playing is way outside the lines. But it’s not all so avant-garde. The funk flows warm and even on the first cut, “Little Walter Rides Again,” and “Julia” is a jazzy interpretation of the John Lennon ballad that features Scofield delivering his melodic interpretation with a dripping reverb tone. This is a great disc for Scofield fans who want to hear him mix it up, or MMW fans who’ve always wished they’d do a guitar record.
—Jimmy Leslie

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