Home Live For Live Music John Scofield Trio Brings ‘Uncle John’s Band’ To Portland, Oregon’s Aladdin Theater...

John Scofield Trio Brings ‘Uncle John’s Band’ To Portland, Oregon’s Aladdin Theater [Review/Photos/Videos]

john scofield trio brings uncle johns band to portland oregons aladdin theater review photos videos

John Scofield brought his jazz trio featuring his longtime drummer Bill Stewart and bassist Vincente Archer to Portland, Oregon’s Aladdin Theater Thursday for a thrilling set of free-spirited interpretations of songs by everyone from Miles Davis to Bob Dylan.

The wide range of tunes was drawn largely from the trio’s 2023 album, Uncle John’s Band. A nostalgic yet inventive homage to some of Scofield’s most beloved songs from throughout the years, the album features instrumental trio arrangements of classic tunes like “Mr. Tambourine Man”, Neil Young‘s “Old Man”, and of course, the album’s Grateful Dead-penned title track, all of which serve as fecund foundations for masterful improvisation, much to the delight of the sophisticated ears in Thursday’s crowd.

The 600-ish-cap theater was packed with Portland’s usual PDX Jazz patrons—mostly grey-haired, as Scofield pointed out—plus some representatives of the jam band contingent attracted by the guitarist’s psychedelic rock and funk pedigree. Both groups enjoyed the impressive two-hour set with equal enthusiasm, each relating to the familiar melodies for their own reasons. Whether reliving their whippersnapper days or taking in the far-out instrumental takes on classic singalongs, the audience was along for the ride.

Scofield prefaced “Mr. Tambourine Man” by remembering how when he first heard the Dylan song, he was tempted to follow the Tambourine Man’s jingle jangle, adding, “So I did, and now here we are.” The trio’s adventurous rendition of “Uncle John’s band” was also a hit, complete with an out or space section, depending on your parlance.

The diversity of songs highlighted not just the trio’s versatility, but Scofield’s ability to evolve and move between genres throughout his multi-faceted career, with funky MMW-esque grooves, swinging hard bop, gentle ballads, The Monkees-inspired “TV Band”, and spacey psychedelic explorations, plus a song he introduced simply as “a new one, brand new.” Each player got their turn to solo—Bill Stewart in particular impressed the crowd with his effortless spontaneity and rock-solid time, and Scofield’s solo moments were standout highlights in several tunes—but it was when all three came together as a unit that the room really came alive.

Click below to view fan-shot videos and a gallery of photos from John Scofield Trio at Aladdin Theater in Portland, OR courtesy of photographer Norm Eder.

John Scofield Trio has upcoming shows at SF Jazz, and in just a couple weeks, Scofield will pull double duty collaborating with headliners Lettuce and Gov’t Mule at Daze Between New Orleans between weekends of Jazz Fest. He will also join a stacked lineup featuring members of The MetersDumpstaphunkTrey Anastasio Band, Lettuce, The Rolling Stones, and more for a very special Daze Between Band late-night at Tipitina’s as part of Live For Live Music‘s Fest by Nite series before heading to Asia with Stewart and Archer in June. For a full list of tour dates and to purchase tickets, visit John Scofield’s website.

John Scofield Trio – “Uncle John’s Band” (Grateful Dead) – 4/11/24

[Video: Danny Matador]

[Video: Danny Matador]

[Video: Danny Matador]

[Video: Danny Matador]

[Video: Danny Matador]

[Video: Danny Matador]

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Source: L4LM.com