If an official street where that old evangelical church of the South could be found, it would be Piety Street. John Scofield’s latest endeavor, Piety Street, is a journey into the moving hymns and uplifting gospel songs of yore. With a touch of soul and Scofield-esque sound, a tribute is paid to the uplifting and celebratory nature of the Gospel.
With masterful and electrifying instrumentation, it is hard to resist the urge to get up, clap your hands, and dance. “Motherless Child,” “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” and “I’ll Fly Away,” are familiar, given a surge of spirit like a revival on a hot summer day. Scofield’s playing is supported by a masterful backing band including George Porter Jr., Jon Cleary, John Boutte, and Ricky Fataar.
The keys light up, the songs are funky, his guitar speaks volumes, and the mood is contagious. One does not have to be religious to appreciate the music-ability of Scofield and his newest adventure into the foundations of great jazz, blues, and rock n’ roll.
Piety Street is out now on EmArcy Records.