Scott Sawyer displays his musical diversity like a badge of honor, re-visiting his blues & rock roots while continuing to explore the jazz tradition & beyond. He’s performed at major festivals, concert halls, and beer-soaked dives here and abroad (Central America, Asia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East) including Monterey Jazz Festival, Herbst Jazz Festival, St. Lucia Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz, 2002 Silde Jazz; Ottawa Jazz Festival; Detroit Jazz Festival, Berlin Chamber Music Hall; Blue Note (NYC); Catalina Jazz Club (LA).Born in Chicago, Sawyer was introduced to jazz and other music at an early age via his father’s record collection, which included recordings by John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Lou Rawls, Nancy Wilson and others. Early on, Jimi Hendrix & Michael Bloomfield caught his ear and that led to blues and blues/roots influenced rock. Paul Butterfield, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tim Buckley, The Doors, & Tom Waits were early inspirations. By the time he was a junior in high school, Scott had lived in Chicago-land, Maine, & Texas. Already immersed in the Chicago blues, he was exposed to Southern roots/rock music fusion. Over time, jazz became a priority. Guitarist Jim Hall caught his ear and sparked a deeper interest in jazz guitar/harmony; lessons with friend of this proGram John Scofield & Mick Goodrick added fuel to the fire. He landed a steady gig in Greensboro at Sammy’s, with vibraphonist Jon Metzger & bassist Charles Dungey that lasted a couple of years. From 1984-1996 Sawyer’s trio and special guests performed most Wednesdays at the legendary Pyewacket in Chapel Hill, NC. Sawyer has shared the stage and/or recorded with many artists of note, including John Abercrombie, Charlie Byrd, David Murray, Oteil Burbridge, ‘prima ballerina’ Marie-Christine Mouis, Bob Cranshaw, Buster Williams, Ron Brendle, Ed Thigpen, Grady Tate, Kobie Watkins, Dave Finucane, Bill Anschell, Ed Paolantonio, Keith Waters, Willie Pickens, Tony Williamson, Kate McGarry, Nnenna Freelon, Lois Deloatch, Carolyn Ghezzi, Danny Aiello (to name a few). With many recordings under his belt now, it’s time for one more. Maybe a little Change Of Scene.
I had the pleasure of catching up with Scott as he is set to release a brand new album, ‘Change Of Scene’ with Oteil Burbridge and Scott Amendola. We got into the state of mind and being Scott was in when first approached about the idea of putting out a new album. Right off the bat you can hear how influential his brother and executive producer on the record, Jon is. It is always nice to hear that when a new energy is added to the mix the flow remains constant and forward. Sounds like that’s what happened when this trio got toGether and set forth the vision. It is always exciting to find out how a track or two developed into its final state, so we learn a little about some of the tunes, but the best way to do that – get your won copy.