Commissioned by the Society of Friends and Patrons of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and recorded at its premiere performance in September of 2002, Scorched is an extended suite of large-scale reconceptions of guitarist John Scofield's jazz compositions, scored for big band, symphony orchestra, and guitar trio. English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage has been working in the borderland between jazz and classical music since his early days at the feet of Gunther Schuller, and his orchestral elaborations on Scofield's original themes are surprisingly insightful and exciting. Scofield himself leads the trio, which also includes the legendary drummer Peter Erskine and electric bassist John Patitucci. Turnage avoids the standard classical-jazz crossover error of trying to make an ensemble this large actually swing; instead, he creates interest with dense but agile harmonic movement and crisp rhythmic change-ups; when Scofield and his crew take over periodically in a more standard jazz idiom, the effect is one of bracing contrast. The big-band-and-orchestra generally alternates with the trio rather than plays alongside it, but there are some thrilling moments of interplay, such as at the end of "Fat Lip 2" and the brilliant "Make Me 2." Scofield's solo playing on the contemplative "Cadenza" is another particular treat. Very highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
|Scorched, for guitar, electric bass, drums, big band & orchestra|