John Abercrombie's observation on the back
cover of [Peaks and Valleys] that the Scott Sherwood Trio "...plays with a
natural, loose, yet focused concept that allows the music to really breathe" is
right on the money. Sherwood's a very expressive, logical player, with traces of
Abercrombie, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall and, to my ears, Ed Bickert.
He's got an impressive track record, having won the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for three consecutive years in high school, as well as being voted IAJE Overall Outstanding Musician at several different festivals. In 1990, he won the Downbeat Award for Outstanding Performance at the college level.
trio with Mike Nunno and Paul Hannah has a sound as fresh as the Swiss mountain
scenery that graces the CD insert (photos courtesy of Scott's wife). Hannah, in
particular, drives Sherwood's airy, yet meaty, compositions with a light,
propulsive swing and excellent cymbal work. Nunno plays electric bass with a
muted, pungent sound that nicely offsets the leader's tone.
This is Sherwood's second album, and one hopes there are many more to come. First class all the way, [Peaks and Valleys] is one of the best guitar albums I've heard in a long time." - Larry Nai, Cadence Magazine
"ln short, beautiful music beautifully played" - Just Jazz Guitar "
"...Aided by some sympathetic and excellent backup from Nunno and Hannah, Sherwood shows here that he's a lyrical and expressive player. I enjoyed this CD [Peaks and Valleys] and look forward to more of Scott Sherwood in the future."
- Jazz Guitar International
"... a guitar player who will capture your attention quietly, like the orange and blue sunset after a busy day when beauty is the farthest thought from your mind. "
- The Shepard Express
...a musician who is totally involved in trying to move his audience with sincere sound." - The Tico Times (Costa Rica)
"Sherwood's Balmorhea is an engaging, imaginative fusion of elements drawing from different traditions. Rather than erecting walls, the piece celebrates common ground."
- The Milwaukee Journal
"On his very impressive debut disc, jazz guitarist, Scott Sherwood, successfully blends material that is not only highly listenable, but also musically challenging. This is something that so many contemporary jazz players and composers try to do, but few succeed at. Sultry and subtle, it is not unfair to compare Siren Song to either Metheny's early trio recordings, or to John Abecrombie's trios with Jan Hammer and Jack DeJohnette.
Through the six compositions included on this disc, Sherwood shows a very mature and developed melodic sense, blending instantly "catchy" heads on "Shadow Play" and "Green,'' with more melodically intricate and challenging writing on "Gently Jenny" and "Spinnaker." The overall hushed feel of the disc is abandoned on the short but sweet "Alliteration," which alternates between a fairly orthodox bop head and chaotic free form jams that, to use another Metheny reference, are more 'Song X" than 'Bright Size Life." This all leads up to the disc's center piece.
The eleven minute title track which starts with a slow, smoky swing feel and leads to Sherwood's most developed solo on the disc, which has him alternating between bluesy riffs, spatial passages, and out and out bop-flourishes. After further development, the tune and disc climax with Sherwood and Miller repeating the tune's simple but haunting arpeggiated riff under Terry Smirl's intensely developing drum solo. Truly a chillingly effective piece. Elsewhere throughout the disc, Sherwood solos with subtlety, yet confidence, and Miller's upright bass playing, both behind Sherwood and also when he solos, is lush and lyrical. Likewise, Smirl's drumming is consistently tasteful, but often has a sense of urgency that keeps things from getting too relaxed.
When you compare this disc to much of the sterile, watered-down "contemporary jazz'' that is out there, it is the unmistakable emotional element that elevates this trio to be head and shoulders above the majority of its competition. Also, having accolades from both Danny Gottlieb and John Abercrombie ain't a bad thing either!" - The Nebula Music Magazine