JOHN SCOFIELD - master musician, composer, road dog

Over the course of his long and successful musical career, John Scofield crossed paths with people like Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and Chet Baker. With his unique style and sound he became one of today’s most influential master guitarists and composers of jazz and fusion music.
His œuvre includes jazz, funk, rock and blues music. Reflecting on his long career he calls himself a road dog, which is a jazz term for musicians with a long touring history.

John Scofield - official website

Over the course of his long and successful musical career, John Scofield crossed paths with people like Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and Chet Baker. With his unique style and sound he became one of today’s most influential master guitarists and composers of jazz and fusion music.
His œuvre includes jazz, funk, rock and blues music. Reflecting on his long career he calls himself a road dog, which is a jazz term for musicians with a long touring history.

THE FILM

INSIDE SCOFIELD is the in-depth-portrayal of the life of the acclaimed touring musician, composer and human being. Narrated completely by himself, John Scofield takes the viewer on an inspiring trip into the mind and soul of one of today’s finest in modern jazz.

Who is John Scofield? What is improvization? What has changed during the last 40 years of touring constantly around the globe as a “Road Dog”, how has this change affected the creative potential of the music? It’s about the devotion to maintain this ongoing versatile and dazzling career, as well as the appreciation for the rare opportunity of being around Miles Davis and other icons of the golden generation of jazz.

Entirely shaped and inspired by his music, Inside Scofield is more than just a celebration of past achievements. It’s an ambitious love letter to jazz in general, as it is to friendship, free communication and courage towards human imperfection in the multilayered field of music.

THE FILM

Scofield is a humble, generous and outspoken narrator of his own story, about the ongoing versatile and dazzling career and his personal life, which is rather refreshing for someone from the notoriously secretive jazz scene. Additionally the film provides a wealth of rare insights, including exclusive backstage, soundcheck and personal shots.

INSIDE SCOFIELD – a rare view into the life of the acclaimed touring musician, composer and human being. – An ambitious trip into the mind and soul of one of modern jazz’s master musicians.
 
So what is happening in the film?

John takes us on a meandering ride between the fast-paced touring-life on the road and his seclusion at his home in Katonah, on the outskirts of town. New York City – was the place where Jazz moved on to another level – and the place where he kicked off his career. There could be no better tour guide than Scofield to show us around his old neighborhood, the Village – the aging but still pulsating center spot of jazz on the west side of lower Manhattan, where he has coffee with his old friend Joe Lovano and a chat about the good old days.

On tour with COMBO 66

The interconnecting element of INSIDE SCOFIELD is the West Coast tour 2018 of John’s band “Combo 66”, with Bill Stewart on drums, Gerald Clayton on piano, Vicente Archer on bass and Pat Murray as tour manager and sound engineer. Joerg Steineck accompanied the band for three weeks and filmed almost 40 hours of footage in seven different cities during that time.

Bill Stewart

Bill Stewart is an American jazz drummer and composer. He’s a long-time collaborator with John but also performed with many others, such as Maceo Parker, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall (…). Bill Stewart’s playing is distinguished by its melodic focus and its layered character and has great dynamic precision, so he’s able to articulate with exactness and clarity. As a composer his style can be described as avant-garde.

Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton is the son of jazz bassist John Clayton (who has a short cameo in the film as well). For his young age he has already performed and recorded with many well-known names in jazz. Through the long-time friendship with John Clayton John Scofield knows Gerald and his musical growth since he was a child. It seems to be a natural evolution that Gerald became part of one of John’s projects since John calls him “one of the best piano players he has ever played with.”

Vicente Archer

Vicente was born in Woodstock, NY, where he embraced the rich cultural arts by listening to local great jazz artists Dave Holland, Jimmy Cobb, Jack DeJohnette, among many others. In his early career within one year of switching from guitar to bass, the powerful alto saxophonist Donald Harrison asked him to join his group. Vicente Archer has emerged as one of today’s profound new voices on the bass and is a strong linchpin of Combo 66.

Pat Murray

Pat is the tour manager, sound engineer and good spirit of Combo 66 and many other Scofield projects. Like John himself Pat’s long career also included being part of the Miles Davis band – although at different times – as Miles’s concert sound mixer between 1988-1990. Aside from being a great sound engineer and tour manager Pat is one of John’s closest friends.


CAMEOS

INSIDE SCOFIELD features cameo appearances by some of John’s closest musical companions and friends:
Steve Swallow

Steve Swallow is a bassist and composer. He was one of the first jazz double bassists to switch entirely to electric bass guitar. John Scofield calls him his mentor and one of his closest friends.

Joe Lovano

Joe Lovano is an American jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist and drummer. In the mid 1980s he began working with John. Since then their professional and personal relationship remains – and whenever they have the chance to play together – they use it.

Bill Frisell

Bill Frisell is an American guitarist, composer and arranger. Together with Pat Metheny and John Scofield he is often mentioned as one of the leading guitarists in jazz music since the late 1980s. He played with both of them and maintained a friendship until today.

Phil Lesh

Phil Lesh is the former bassist and co-founder of the Grateful Dead. His band “Phil & Friends” is a group in that different lineups of musicians play, including John Scofield.

Dave Holland

Dave Holland is an English jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been performing and recording for five decades with some of the greatest names in jazz – e.g. with his friend John Scofield.

Jon Cleary

Jon Cleary is a British-born American funk and R&B musician based in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he has studied the “musical culture and life of New Orleans”. He is an accomplished pianist, vocalist and songwriter who has recorded and toured with John multiple times.

VOICES – The Inside Scofield interviews

This mini-series of interviews was originally conducted for the film, but only a few excerpts made it into the final cut. It features some of the strong voices of modern music, commenting on mutual collaborations, their own career and jazz in general. You can watch all interviews, compiled and in full length: Inside Scofield VOICES” is available for IFP Patrons (www.patreon.com/steineck) and as part of the Inside Scofield VOD pack (coming soon).

INSIDE SCOFIELD is his third feature-length music documentary.

Lo Sound Desert“, a film about the Californian desert rock and psychedelic music scene came out in 2016. “American Dirge” portrays a troubled American singer/songwriter named Sam. The film will be released in 2021. His 45 minutes animation film “MOAIS – The Lithic Curtain” is also finished and waiting for a 2021 release.

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