If you like Jazz guitar, check out this DVD review of John Scofield live at the New Morning Club in Paris. John made an extraordinary appearance there in 2010 with his band, the “New Jazz Quartet.”
His lineup featured Michael Eckroth on keyboards, Ben Street on double bass, and Bill Stewart on drums.
The setlist included 12 amazing tunes that featured John and the band at their very best. Don’t miss the chance to experience a phenomenal concert! It will “wow” the pants off you and send you back to school if you are a guitar player.
Keep on reading to learn more.
John Scofield – The Paris Concert, DVD Snapshot
- Recorded: April 23, 2010
- Release Date: 2010
- Concert Length: 1Hr, 56 Min
- Video Format: Widescreen 16×9 (1.78:1)
- Audio: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS-5.1
- Starring: John Scofield, Ben Street, Bill Stewart, and Michael Eckroth
- Producer: Daniel Farhi
- Director: Daniel Farhi
Main DVD Disk Menu:
Features: Soundtrack Sketches (8 minutes)
Audio: PCM 2.0 Stereo, Dolby Digital-5.1, DTS-5.1
Bonus Features: Soundtrack Sketches
DVD Packaging: Standard plastic packaging, one disk, with an informational booklet (not useful)
This concert was shot live in high definition on April 23, 2010, at the “New Morning” club in Paris, France. John Scofield calls this band the “New Jazz Quartet.” It features Ben Street on standup bass, Michael Eckroth on keyboards, and Bill Stewart on drums.
John has been a longtime performer and music instructor at New York University. John hit the music scene in the 1990s. He played for Miles Davis for three and one-half years.
Ben Street is a double jazz bassist, who is the son of a saxophonist. He has performed and recorded with both Scofield and Eckroth, as well as Kurt Rosenwinkel.
Michael Eckroth is a jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. He specializes in Latin jazz and has been with Scofield off and on since 2010. He has a Ph.D. in Cuban piano solos from New York University.
Bill Stewart is an American jazz drummer that has performed with John Scofield and Path Metheny, among others. His father was a trombonist. Bill’s drumming style has been described as “melodic and polyrhythmic.”
The concert features twelve awesome tunes that represent post-bop, funk-edged jazz, and R&B influences. It captures their Paris set during their 2010 tour. It was released on album, DVD, and Blu-Ray.
This DVD comes as a single disk with standard plastic packaging. The artwork consists of a photo of John Scofield playing his guitar on the front cover. The rear cover has a photo of the band with a short description of the concert and the setlist.
The disk will play on North American DVD players.
This concert is also available as a Blu-Ray from Inakustik distributors.
Songs And Artists
|2||Woody ‘N You||8:28|
|4||My Foolish Heart||9:17|
|7||Lost Found & Inbetween||11:06|
|9||Relaxin’ At Camarillo||9:41|
|10||I Want To Talk About You||13:59|
|12||The Guinness Spot (Encore)||8:35|
- John Scofield – Guitar
- Michael Eckroth – Piano and Keyboard
- Ben Street – Double Acoustic Bass
- Bill Stewart – Drums
Musical Performance Highlights
Here are some short comments that sum up my thoughts on the following tracks.
Ten Taken is the first song of the show. The band begins playing without any introduction. It reminds me of a movie tune from the 1966 American spy comedy “Our Man Flint”, with James Coburn.
Michael Eckroth and Ben Street take their first solos of the evening. Michael is such an amazing player and it certainly shows!
My Foolish Heart
This tune in Gb is a wonderful arrangement with John playing some beautifully voiced chord changes and masterful melodic phrasing.
I Want To Talk About You
From (album): A Moment’s Peace
This song gets a huge audience reaction, and rightly so. It features a really nice piano opening and some outstanding guitar lines that just naturally flow into one another.
The Guinness Spot
From: Meant To Be
John closes the show with this encore in Eb. The band doesn’t go off stage and then come back, as you would expect. The guitar work has some nice volume swells and wide interval skips that really make it pop. It’s a very melodically balanced tune.
Band Interviews And Backstage Footage
The DVD does not have any band interviews or backstage footage but there is an 8-minute feature called “Soundcheck Sketches”, which is narrated by John.
John talks a little about the other three guys in the band and musicians he’s played with over the years. He also thanks his family for being so supportive of his career over the years.
There is a short soundcheck that shows John demonstrating some of the chord changes for the material they will be performing. It really speaks to how professional and experienced these guys are.
The New Morning Club has a very basic setup that provides an informal and friendly atmosphere between the players and the audience.
The stage is simple and well-lit with high-definition video cameras placed out of the viewer’s sight. There are no special lighting effects. The focus is always on what’s happening musically.
This is a listing of the guitars, amplifiers, and effects that John used during the show. I obtained this information visually, while watching the video, and by Internet research. I always strive to make this list as accurate as possible.
If you disagree or have something to add that makes it more accurate or complete then I would appreciate it if you would put that info in the comment section at the end of this article. I will correct and/or update it immediately!?
Throughout the show John plays his 1981 Ibanez AS-200, which has been his primary axe for over 20 years. He sets it up with 011, 0.014, .019 (unwound), .030, .039, and .049 gauge strings.
For more info on guitar strings, see Why Change Guitar Strings? – Tips To Play And Sound Awesome!
His guitar pick of choice is a Dunlop Delrin 2mm.
John also owns several Takamine acoustic guitars, a vintage Martin, a Strat, and an ES-175.
John is playing through a non-modified Vox AC 30, which is one of his favorite amps. He also uses a Mesa Boogie Mark I reissue, but not in this show.
The only effect that is visible onstage is a Boomerang Phrase Sampler, which John uses on the tune “Lost Found & Inbetween” with stunning results! All the other songs in the setlist are played directly through his amp.
Some of the other effects that John owns and uses intermittently (from his website) include a Pro Co Rat, Ibanez Analog Chorus, Boss EQ, Digitech Whammy/Wah pedal, Boss Loop Station, Line 6 Delay, Line 6 Filter, and an Electro Harmonix Micro Synthesizer
He has two pedalboards, neither of which were used in the show.
Audio Specs And Sound Quality
The concert is recorded in:
- PCM 2.0 Stereo
- Dolby Digital 5.1
The audio is professionally recorded, with generally good audio imaging, depending on your sound system.
Television speakers sound best using the stereo channel.
If you have a soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer then try both the Dolby Digital and DTS surround channels to see which work best for you.
The DTS channel will definitely give you the best sound imaging if you have a home theater with a 5.1, 7.1, or 7.1.4 (Atmos) setup.
Video Specs And Camera-Shot Quality
The video on this DVD is recorded in Widescreen 16×9 (1.78:1).
The concert is pro-shot in NTSC, as you might expect it to be. Overall video brightness and contrast are very well presented with minimal graininess. There is some color interference from the stage lighting in various scenes.
All of John’s solos are captured in their entirety, without inappropriate break-away to other musicians. His hands are filmed to clearly show his technique, which is what guitar players really want to see.
My Favorite Songs And Musical Moments
These are the songs I enjoyed most in the show for various reasons.
The entire setlist is awesome, as is the case at any John Scofield concert. John frequently checks his tuning after executing wide string bends.
Woody ‘N You
John plays this classic Dizzy Gillespie tune in Db with very interesting syncopated lines and chromatic runs that make it really stand out against Ben’s walking bass foundation. It’s a great example of the kind of dissonant be-bop stuff that Scofield is known for.
From: Past Present
This tune has tons of attitude with a touch of guitar flash. I love the rakes and muted string lines that give it Jeff Beck overtones. Check out the piano solo.
If you like a fast-tempo tune with be-bop-like phrasing that makes your fingers hurt just watching John play, then this is a must-see. There is an excellent drum break and an out-of-control walking bass part that will make you press the rewind button at least once.
From: Works For Me
Another arpeggio-driven Scofield solo fest. John is really having fun with it and it shows, visually and musically. There is a piano solo that just kills!
Lost Found & Inbetween
This is my favorite tune of the show and the only one where John uses his Boomerang Phrase sampler. He records a chord progression in the first part of the song using the looper and then solos over it.
It also sounds like he kicks in a pre-recorded loop that is played backward (using the “direction” button on the looper?) with syncopated volume swells.
It’s a mind-blowing experience, with a hint of Scofield meets Hendrix. Not to be missed!
This one really shows John at his note-bending best with fast arpeggios that will thrill any guitar player. Michael and Ben jump in with excellent piano and bass solos.
Relaxin’ At The Camarillo
This tune is anything but relaxing. It’s more like “exciting and audacious!” John dishes out fluid guitar lines that seem to run perfectly together as one. Yet another example of what an absolute master this guy really is.
From: Groove Elation
This tune in Eb really swings with staccato bends that will make you want to reach over and grab your guitar, so keep it close by!
What You Might Not Like
There’s nothing really to dislike about this concert video. It’s pure musical magic but here are a few things you might consider.
No Backstage Footage
I like watching backstage concert footage. It really adds to the enjoyment of the video and can give you a better idea of what particular equipment was used in the show. There was a short section of soundcheck footage in the “Soundcheck Sketches” feature that was fun to see.
Sound Imaging Inconsistent On The Surround Audio Tracks
The concert sounds great when played as a stereo track but there are some minor issues with sound imaging and clarity with the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks.
On my Bose 5.1 surround setup, the front and rear channel suffered the intermittent loss of imaging on certain songs but the overall sound quality is good. The side-surround channels were muddy on my 7.2.4 Atmos system.
Overall, the sound quality was better than I expected for a DVD with standard definition audio.
The Booklet Has Nothing To Do With The Concert
The booklet included with the DVD is basically a series of advertisements for audio cables and other products that Inakustik & New Morning Vision sells. There is no information about the band or the music they play during the show.
Beware Of Poorly Recorded Copies
There are a fair number of pirated or bootleg copies of this video available for purchase on various websites.
The video and audio are typically substandard, and in some cases too poorly done to be worth a look and listen.
Also, it is illegal to purchase these copies and it could cheat the performers out of well-deserved income.
Is This Concert Worth Purchasing Or Streaming?
Does a bear crap in the woods? This concert is so addictive that you can easily annoy others in the house by watching it over and over again! The DVD can be a little difficult to find, even on Amazon, so get your copy as soon as possible.
In addition to the DVD, there is a Blu-Ray version of the concert available, but it is being sold for $50 to $60 dollars. The DVD audio and video are very well done and it is available for less than $10.
If you buy just one jazz fusion DVD then this concert then is the one to grab. It is as educational as it is entertaining! For guitar players, it’s a two-hour master class on melodic phrasing that is as awesome as it is inventive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most popular questions and facts about John Scofield.
Did John Scofield Study Music?
John studied music at Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1973.
Where Does John Scofield Teach?
John teaches composition at New York University as an Adjunct Professor of Music.
What Miles Davis Albums Did John Scofield Play On?
John played on:
- Star People (1983 Columbia Records)
- Decoy (1984 Columbia)
- The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux 1973–1991 (Warner Switzerland)
- You’re Under Arrest (1985 Columbia)
Who Else Did John Scofield Play With?
John has also collaborated and played with:
|Charles Mingus||Gary Burton Quartet||Pat Metheny|
|Jim Hall||Bill Frisell||Herbie Hancock|
|Charlie Haden||Tony Williams||Phil Lesh|
|Eddie Harris||Government Mule||Joe Henderson|
|Medeski, Martin & Wood||Mavis Staples||Brad Mehldau|
|Ron Carter||Terumasa Hino||Jack DeJohnette|
|Dave Holland||Joe Lovano|
Final Thoughts On John Scofield Live
John Scofield is one of the absolute masters of modern guitar in the styles of jazz, bebop, jazz fusion, funk, soul, blues, and rock.
He has recorded more than 30 albums and has a worldwide touring schedule of more than 200 days per year.
The New Morning Paris Concert is a testament to his ability to create imaginative melodic phrases that perfectly complement each song with unexpectedly fun twists and turns along the way.
John has a real genius for making dissonant chords and arpeggios seamlessly fit into whatever he plays His ultra-hot band, which includes Michael Eckroth on piano, Ben Street on bass, and Bill Stewart on drums make the whole musical experience come together in a way that will dazzle and amaze you.
Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this concert on video!
Tell Me What You Think
Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this John Scofield music article, have any questions about this video, or want to give your own critique of the concert. I will be happy to help you.
- Have you seen this video before? What do you think of the setlist, and audio/video quality?
- Which musician do you like best?
- Do you have a favorite John Scofield video? Which one and why?
- Would you buy this video after reading this review?