Continuing the Gov’t Mule 20th anniversary celebration comes ‘Sco-Mule’, a collaboration between the southern rock / jam band who formed in 1994 as a side project to The Allman Brothers Band, and iconic jazz rock guitarist John Scofield, a man who’s worked with such legends such as Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Chet Baker amongst others. And it gives us inordinate pleasure to premiere the audio for one of the tracks on the album, an elegant and timeless tour de force titled Tom Thumb.
Last year started excellently well for jazz heads with albums from the likes of Get The Blessing, Polar Bear, Led Bib, GoGo Penguin and BadBadNotGood to name but a few. This year’s also starting promisingly with a(nother) new Polar Bear album in the pipeline and a collaboration between BadBadNotGood and, would you believe, Ghostface Killah. Also in our sights, though, is the second instalment of the Gov’t Mule’s 20th anniversary celebration, a release between them and jazz-rock legend John Scofield.
The story of how these two came together runs like this:
“In September 1999 Gov’t Mule was a little over 5 years old and began embracing and exploring personal influences which weren’t quite present in the music at that stage. They had written and recorded jazz-influenced instrumentals such as ‘Trane’, ‘Birth of the Mule’ and ‘Thelonius Beck’, but had never, at that point, done any “live” performances that were predominantly made up of instrumental songs.”
“At this point, enter jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield, who has previously played and collaborated with legends such as Charlie Mingus, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Chet Baker amongst others. Gov’t Mule had begun including more guests into the live shows and were joined by Scofield for two shows; one in Atlanta and the other in Athens, Georgia – this was after only one full rehearsal.”
Regarding the collaboration Scofield himself explains how the two came together:
“It was about 25 years ago that I first met Warren. He turned up at the New York club Sweet Basil and said we should play together sometime. He looked like Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider,” and I wondered, “Who is this guy?”
“Warren and I stayed in touch, and a few years later he invited me to play some shows with Gov’t Mule. I flew down to Atlanta to rehearse with Warren, Allen Woody, Matt Abts, and another special guest, Dr. Dan Matrazzo on keyboards. “These guys are the real deal,” I remember thinking. Although I’m known as a jazz player, I started out playing blues, and I think that Warren sensed that. I loved playing with them and I still do. The shows we did then were excellent musically and a lot of fun for me -I think they stand the test of time all these years later.”
Sco-Mule will be released on 26th January 2015 via Provogue / Mascot Label Group but before then enjoy this taster from the album, Tom Thumb, an eleven minute jazz-rock odyssey, beautifully slinky, drenched in elegant, timeless grooves and a must for fans of trad jazz and classic rock alike.