“On his seventh recording as a leader, guitarist Scott Sawyer takes flight in search of fresh air and new ways. Although bassist Oteil Burbridge (Dead & Company) and drummer Scott Amendola (Nels Cline) kick up a funk on “What It Is,” this stripped-down trio date is less about propulsion than tone. There’s lots of empty space: solitary notes left hanging, ideas suggested, but not forced. And — as always with Sawyer — the profound power of the blues permeates everything.
An unlikely cover of the Doors’ spooky “The Crystal Ship” leaves port on tranquil seas. Then things get dark. The moon disappears. The wind howls. Batten down the hatches, matey…
Such is the prevailing mood of Change of Scene, which captures a fearless guitar trio on a dangerous trip.”— Joe Vanderford
Scott Sawyer: Change Of Scene
By Doug Collette
November 23, 2022