John Scofield ushers in Grammy-winning ‘Country for Old Men’ to Jazz Alley
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Jazz-rock icon John “Sco” Scofield returns to Seattle’s Jazz Alley for two shows 7:30 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, fresh off two Grammy wins for his latest album, Country for Old Men. He’ll perform with keyboardist Larry Goldings, bassist Vicente Archer, and drummer Bill Stewart.

Last Sunday, Scofield proved himself in two categories. Up against quite a talented group — a mix of newbies and elder statesmen — the guitar legend picked up awards in “Best Improvised Jazz Solo” for the cover of Hank Williams Sr.’s hit single, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and “Best Jazz Instrumental Album.” His competition included the Indonesian wunderkind, pianist Joey Alexander, established jazz pianist Fred Hersch, the Kenny Barron Trio, and top guns Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau.

Last year, Scofield won his first Grammy for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” for Past Present.

Storied and supple, Scofield has a knack for finding the sweetest spots on his fret and pulling out a whirlwind of emotion on strings that others lack.

He is at his most sensitive and intuitive on the Sept. 23, 2016 release, Country for Old Men (iTunes, Amazon), an exquisite ode to the country greats (Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, George Jones, Shania Twain, and James Taylor). The self-produced album features Scofield riffing rhythmically and soulfully along with Goldings, Stewart, and bassist Steve Swallow.

“We’re going to turn ‘outlaw’ country tunes into jazz vehicles. Rather than go to Nashville and record with ‘real’ country players in a country style, I’m joining forces with my jazz cronies to play the songs with our jazz approach,” Scofield has said of his latest album. “We improvise while keeping the integrity, character and twang of this wonderful American music. I’ve always loved country music and am super excited to put my treatment of them into play.”

Before making it big on his own, Scofield jammed with influential icons in the music industry. They included Gerry Mulligan, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Gary Burton, and, most famously, Miles Davis in the 1980s.