The programme of the 40th anniversary festival culminates on Sunday with a duo of guitarist John Scofield and bassist Dave Holland. We got Scofield for a small interview.
Both Dave Holland and I stayed at home with no touring or concerts for 19 months – and like the rest of the world, this was a completely new experience!! We are so excited to get back to playing. The concerts have been so stimulating on our part, and the audience likes it a lot as well.
You have performed with different ensembles in Finland at least fifteen times, but never as duo with anybody – if my memory serves me correctly? Why now, and why a duo with Dave Holland?
Yes, I haven’t played much in a duo context but I thought with Dave, who is so accomplished, it could be very effective. We’ve known each other for years and admired each other’s playing. We have also performed together in the bands of Herbie Hancock and Joe Henderson, recorded on various people’s albums and co-led a group called ScoLoHoFo.
What are the musical challenges of playing with just another musician and especially with a bass player?
We didn’t know how it would work together but just thought it would – and now we are playing together a lot. And it’s even better than I expected, real communication and great improvisation (I hope)… It’s such a joy to play with Dave.
Your gig in Tampere will be the 16th (out of 20) during this European autumn tour. Do you have a more or less fixed setlist? Or do you have a large pool of compositions where to choose?
We play some kind of free music, but most of it is on forms of some kind. We are playing [a program of] Dave’s compositions and mine as well… but we may throw in a standard or two as well. Improvisation of course is the key ingredient.
What’s going to happen?
During the last year and a half, I recorded a solo electric guitar record at home which will come out on ECM next year, untitled as of yet. I am also playing with my trio with Bill Stewart and Vicente Archer and we tour Europe next spring. I also have formed a new group called “Yankee go home” with Jon Cowherd on keyboards, Vicente Archer on bass, and Josh Dion on drums. We have some new arrangements on folk and rock classics turned into jazz, plus I wrote some new jazz-rock songs.
John Scofield & Dave Holland at Pakkahuone on Sunday 7 November at 17.30. Tickets 55/45 €