“Groove Elation”

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John Scofield has continued to grow and evolve year by year. This 1995 set is quite blues-oriented, sometimes boppish and fairly laid-back, almost sounding like a Jimmy Smith or Groove Holmes date from the 1960s. Larry Goldings (who doubles occasionally on piano) is almost as significant in the ensembles as the leader/guitarist, and has become the most important arrival on organ since Joey DeFrancesco and Barbara Dennerlein. Many of the tunes (all Scofield originals) use parade-like rhythms propelled by Idris Muhammad and Dennis Irwin (particularly the eccentric “Peculiar” and “Groove Elation”), and the interplay between the two lead voices is quite appealing. Scofield is quite unselfish as far as taking solo space goes (he clearly enjoys the light funky grooves set by Goldings), and the results are quite appealing.