Sawyer has thoroughly absorbed the modern and post-modern jazz guitar traditions, from fundamentals laid down by Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall to the developments of the players like John Abercrombie and John Scofield who later set the pace. He’s got an exquisite touch and shares with Kurt Rosenwinkel the ability to dial in an elegant and warm electric guitar tone that doesn’t highlight signal-processing effects. …Together, Sawyer and (Dave) Finucane might remind listeners of two well-known guitar/tenor sax partnerships from recent decades, those of Kurt Rosenwinkel with Mark Turner, and John Scofield with Joe Lovano. – Jim Dixon

Complete review here:

“Your playing is melodic and connected and beautiful and so free of the usual guitar bullshit!” – Randy Johnston (Nov 2015)

Creative musicians, in essence, work the seam between anything-is-possible openness and structural specificity, marrying these strange bedfellows time and again. …Guitarist Scott Sawyer’s Dreamers is a sonic manifestation of the aforementioned line of thinking. Sawyer balances head and heart, displaying a deep, in-the-moment emotional connection to his work while remaining ever-watchful of the big picture.  – Dan Bilawsky (All About Jazz; Feb 2014)

Complete review here:

With a warm and inviting sound, guitarist Scott Sawyer offers an intriguing and engaging collection of songs in Dreamers…Sawyer’s style of playing is complex yet tastefully restrained and nuanced…By doing so, he allows the song itself to shine as an artistic work, rather than using the song merely as a vehicle to display his prowess on the guitar. – Jeffrey Uhrich (All About Jazz; Feb 2014)

Complete review here:

At last … an album that captures the eclecticism of Triangle jazz guitarist Scott Sawyer. …Throughout this album, you’ll find that Sawyer is a superb self-editor and an inspiring leader. He knows what he wants to say ensemble-wise and solo-wise. There is no indecision, and the performances benefit immensely from his precision and concision. – Owen Cordle (N&O; Oct 2013)

Complete review here:

Read more here:

(Dreamers; from the “liner notes”) But labeling Dreamers as just jazz is like appreciating only one color from the palette of a master painter. The deep blues shade every note Sawyer plays. He bends the strings, hesitates, surges and slurs, dipping the music into the dirty water of some mythical Delta.. ..(Kate) McGarry reprises Nick Drake’s melancholy masterpiece, “River Man,” with a wispy, vibrato-less reading that starts slowly, but culminates in an emotionally charged conversation with Sawyer as the sounds of two savvy improvisers embrace and intertwine. – Joe Vanderford (2013)

“Scott Sawyer is an amazing world-class guitarist who has toured with the band and been a musical collaborator since the 80’s…” – Nnenna Freelon (“Homefree”; Concord Jazz)

“The ABB will continue what’s being called the “40 Years of Highs and Lows” tour, all part of a 60 date US tour. While in NY, I got to do a gig with Go There, who I recorded with in 2006. Scott Sawyer and Kenny Soule are two of my favorite musicians to play with.” – Oteil Burbridge (Chris Jisi, Bass Player Magazine; Jun 01, 2009)

“Welcome to Scott Sawyer, the funk, rock, blues–and jazz– player…With a preponderance of Sawyer tunes, (GO THERE) is all groove underneath…If you’re looking for a pure, hard-line jazz album, this is not it. But if you think it represents a compromise, think again. It’s its own species.” – Owen Cordle (N&0, 2007)

(“Go There”) “I’ve been a fan of Scott Sawyer’s music for years and consider him to be one of the greatest guitarists in the country. That there are so few recordings of him available is one of the music world’s great injustices. Compounding this difficulty is that his playing is so damn good in so many diverse styles, which means there are still a lot of CDs to make if the public is going to have an inkling of his gift. Go There is Scott at his genre-busting best. What would you call this? “fusion”? “jazzy jamband”? In the end it doesn’t matter: this is just cool music, from the soul, with inventive writing, fantastic players, and heartfelt improvisations. Go wherever you have to to get a copy of this disc.” – Alex Martin

“I did do one CD with this great guitarist named Scott Sawyer. Its called “Go There”. My brother Kofi played on it and a great drummer named Kenny Soule. These guys are really amazing.” – Oteil Burbridge (; June 2007)

“We just completed a project called Go There. Just ridiculous, man…They have a guitarist, Scott Sawyer and a drummer Kenny Soule…We went into the studio and did this and I felt like we had been playing together for thirty years. It was just amazing how natural it was.” – Oteil Burbridge (jambands,com )

“A massive musical talent, underscored with taste and sensitivity…one of my favorite guitarists…” – Steve Haines (Director of the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, UNC-Greensboro)

(Ed Paolantonio’s “Dad’s Blues”)….Sawyer grabs you on the title cut with soul and intellect, sort of like bluesman B.B. King meeting jazzman Jim Hall – Cordle (N&O; Raleigh, NC); 11/98

Ghezzi’s debut CD “Taking No Prisoners”: Vocalist Ghezzi and guitarist extraordinaire Scott Sawyer pack a solid blues punch on this fine outing…Sawyer delves deep into his blues-soaked Chicago roots, equally at home on rockin’ blues or coolly perfect weepers like “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.” – Gene Hyde (Spectator); 12/97

(Charlie) Byrd played amplified acoustic guitar, Sawyer electric guitar. As an accompanist, Sawyer subtly shadowed Byrd. As a soloist, he paced himself thoughtfully and showed much rhythmic variety. He occasionally evoked Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall…throughout the concert, Byrd was a generous leader, swapping solos and phrases with Sawyer”…) – Cordle (N&O; Raleigh, NC); 2/97

(“In The Stream”) “A thoughtful improviser, Sawyer selects notes carefully from among the many that lie beneath his fingers. Like master trumpeter Miles Davis, who punctuated his solos with pockets of emptiness, Sawyer lets each note find its own gravity before moving on to the next. But just when you think you’ve got him nailed as an aw-shucks guitarist who picks unobtrusively in the shadows, one listen to Stream reveals Sawyer’s alter ego: a boisterous blues man who honks nasty and loud… “Blue Diner” jolts like a boiling cup of coffee.” – Joe Vanderford (The Independent Weekly)

(“In The Stream”) “There is refinement in his ability to develop, bend and restructure a line. His compositions and extrapolative  improvisation insinuate themselves into your mind…Sawyer’s NC sideman are as cogent and hip as their more nationally recognized counterparts.” – Owen Cordle (N&O)

(“In The Stream”) Sawyer obviously enjoys the bop and Coltrane-style free improvisational genres. On those tracks where he uses a sax, he lets the horn player lead with good effect…..there are a pair of selections which I’ve always felt were the guitar’s forte-a gentle ballad and a melodic piece that builds in intensity with each successive pass. He uses each to effectively demonstrate his own strengths.” – Paul Matthews (CADENCE)

“The album’s title brings to mind third stream jazz, in this instance mixing electric guitar with acoustic instruments to invent compositions with rock, straightahead, and new music elements. In The Stream is an engaging yet uncompromisingly provocative effort for the serious jazz listener.”- Wayne Self (JazzSouth)

(“In The Stream”) “This is meaty, modern, modal stuff. Key is Sawyer’s playing: No strummy sloshing around here; it’s dead-on, down to the last well-placed blue note. This is an adventuresome group.” – Dean Smith (Charlotte News & Observer)