Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 4:07 pm | Fair 71º

 
 
 
 

Gerald Carpenter: Lobero to Host Double Bill of Jazz Trios

John Scofield Trio and Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers will perform Saturday

Guitarist John Scofield is already an American classic.
Guitarist John Scofield is already an American classic. (Nick Suttle photo)

The Lobero Theatre will host a double bill of notable jazz trios — the John Scofield Trio (Scofield on guitar, Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums) and Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers (Frisell on guitar, Eyvind Kang on viola and Rudy Royston on drums) — at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Scofield’s guitar sound is sometimes described as “rock-oriented,” but from what I have heard, it seems more a compendium of influences strung along the Mississippi River, chiefly Delta blues and ragtime, with little that is unambiguously derived from rock-and-roll. That may be simply the skewing of the limited samples.

His music, in any case, doesn’t stress the personal and seems, instead, to explore archetypes in an almost scientific fashion — the way novelist Charles Portis explores and animates American archetypes in True Grit. There’s no resisting the melodious confidence of his musicianship, however, and there is no mystery whatsoever to his wide popularity.

Frisell, on the other hand, reminds me of something Norman Mailer wrote about astronaut Neil Armstrong, that he was “obviously in tune with a chord in the universe others had not thought to play.”

The exotic element in Frisell’s music is usually identified as “country.” This is broadly correct, though “American folk” might be more suggestive. Still, jazz remains the dominant principle.

Beautiful Dreamers is only one of several ensembles Frisell has assembled and maintains. A distinctive feature is the viola of Kang — part Anton von Webern, part 3 a.m. bluegrass, part galactic hitchhiker. Not a lot like anything I have heard before, but tremendously engaging and listenable.

Tickets to Saturday’s concert are $35 and $45, and are available at the Lobero box office, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. or 805.963.0761. Click here to order online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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