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Jazz Guitar God Prepares for San Diego Miracle



    Jazz guitarist and composer John Scofield will bring his band to Anthology on Tuesday night.

    The Connecticut-raised Scofield first picked up a guitar at age 11, but he didn't get into jazz until after experimenting with R&B and soul. Because of his pop music roots, Scofield cites the Beatles, the Isley Brothers, Clapton and Hendrix as major influences, but from an American guitar god -- jazz or otherwise -- one shouldn't expect anything different.

    For his education, Scofield attended the Berklee College of Music, in Boston, then worked with "late greats" like Charles Mingus and, in 1982, Miles Davis. With his complex guitar work and improvisational ability, it didn't take long for Scofield to make a name for himself. He's now known equally for his work as a soloist and a collaborator, and he has a massive discography that includes work with such jazz icons as Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock, as well as rock legends like Phil Lesh. Scofield has also collaborated with Bill Frisell, who will perform at Anthology on April 14. Of Frisell, Scofield said that that he's one of his "favorite guitar players to play with and listen to."

    Scofield gained a little extra name recognition among the college crowd after his 1997 collaboration with Medeski Martin and Wood. Called A Go Go, it's considered among his best work. He released his latest record, Piety Street, in 2009, on Emarcy Records. On Tuesday, he'll be performing with the New Jazz Quartet -- Mulgrew Miller on piano, Ben Street on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums.

    Because Scofield cites such a wide range of influences and has collaborated with so many different musicians, Tuesday's show should be both engaging and accessible. They'll be playing two shows, one at 7:30 p.m. and another two hours later. Tickets can still be purchased here.

    T. Loper is a writer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.