John_scofield-uberjam_span3
April 2002

John Scofield
Uberjam
Verve

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, the G.P.O.A.T. (Greatest Philosopher of All Time), believed that life was essentially meaningless, but there is still hope. If we cast off the shackles of traditional morality, we have an option besides rejecting life entirely: we can use art to form meaning out of the meaninglessness by constructing ourselves according to particular styles. A person who accomplished this monumental task was to be called an Ubermensch. On the evidence of his new record Uberjam , guitarist John Scofield ain't there yet. It is true that Scofield and his band construct Uberjam from many groove-based musics, but rather than integrate them according to a style to produce a new artistic vision, Scofield and company simply mute them all until they each sound the same. "Acidhead" thoroughly tames its influences from the East; "Lucky for Her" thinks it's much funkier than it actually is; and "Jungle Fiction" softens its namesake electronica to the point that-well, to the point that it can be on this album. Scofield was trying to exercise his will to power, but came out of it with nothing but gay science. Zarathustra would not have spoken well of these developments.

Originally published in April 2002
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