"The compositions and performances balance heady modernism with accessibility, demonstrating a cheeky playfulness in the process. We need to hear more from this strong, distinct voice." sharrone cohen JAZZ TIMES

Dred Scott Trio (Tuesday) This longtime working band, led by the sly pianist-raconteur Dred Scott, recently released “Going Nowhere” (Ropeadope), a good showcase for its puckish but aggressive take on postbop aerodynamics. The trio’s acclaimed weekly residency here has ended, after a productive six years — but this one-nighter kicks off a new one, the last Tuesday of every month. nate chinen, NEW YORK TIMES

The Dred Scott Trio gives off an intimate, anything-can-happen vibe...sometimes swinging hard and sometimes careening out of control. The feeling of ramshackle something of a front for sophisticated, multi-segmented piano trio compositions. Philip Booth, RELIX

“Pianist Dred Scott uses an irreverent veneer to disguise old-fashioned jazz scholarship, which buttresses his rich, well-rounded intonation and flair for phrasing.” brit robson EMUSIC

“Dred Scott plays the kind of piano that gets you pussy, and not just suburban mom pussy, I am talking chic statuesque broads that know about art, literature and who order off the menu when they go to popular eateries, cause they have it like that.....a sensual and smooth brand of piano that dabbles at hints of darkness. It conjures up a classic kind of sensibility, of a manhood oft talked about in classic novels but rarely seen in real life. It is beautiful beyond words.” tim baker SYFFAL

"Dred Scott has a highly abusive relationship with his piano. One minute he’s in a furious rage, poking, jamming and slapping the keys around like a coked-up mobster. Then, after cooling down a bit, he’s apologizing with tender ticklings and delicate caresses, trying to convince each key that he’s sorry and he’ll change. But no matter how bad it gets, sooner or later they always come back to each other. Plus, one listen to the fusion of rock, funk and hip-hop-laced jazz that comes out of their union proves that dysfunctional relationships are often the most exciting."   curtis cartier, SANTA CRUZ METRO

“The hard-swinging group never gets too deep, which might actually be a good thing: Their music has the buoyant groove of gospel and the charming shuffle of the Big Easy on parade.” NEW YORK MAGAZINE

 "dred scott trio exudes the kind of extroverted swing that made hard bop the indie rock of the late '50s & early '60s."   jon garelick, BOSTON PHOENIX

"While playing, the pianist sometimes gets antsy and stands up, a la Jerry Lee Lewis. It's a move that reminds just how physical his music can be -- especially a piece like "Mojo Rhythm." Splash is part of this group's persona. This summer at Newport they made groggy morning crowd act midnightish. For the last three years at this downtown venue, they've been making a midnightish crowd act rockish (meaning whoopish). Blending pop, bop, pulse, and clatter, they get to a place that swings on its own terms. And they entertain as well. Prep for the Halloween gig by donning your 'anything goes' psyche." Jim Nacnie, VILLAGE VOICE

“A restles trio. Appeallingly rugged.” Nate Chinen, NEW YORK TIMES

“This disc (Live at Rockwood) demonstrates that Scott's vision of bop is a deeply personal one, which can be either cozily swinging or devilishly tricky.... Pianist Dred Scott and Co. play jazz breezy enough to get your toes tapping, yet eccentric enough to tease your brain."   TIME OUT NEW YORK

“[Live at the Rockwood Music Hall] is the Dred Scott Trio’s tribute to one of its most frequent gigs in New  York. In a city where regular engagements are more and more scarce it is a beautiful thing to see the  relationship this band shares with a venue; Live at the Rockwood Music Hall is a beautiful showcase of this dynamic piano trio. One comes away from this album thinking jazz is still alive and kicking.” Christopher Shue, ALL ABOUT JAZZ – NEW YORK

“Fearless. Wowing late nite crowds for years. JAZZ TIMES

“...reorienting the compass of jazz.” Derk Richardson, SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN

“An iconoclastic entertainer in a jazz-trio format with a muscular, unpredictable style and a penchant for covering pop tunes.” SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"A certain Satanic allure . . ." Dan Tepfer, JAZZMAN (France)

“Scott is not a fine -- in fact, magnificent -- pianist, he is a fine, magnificent all-around musician.” Phil Elwood, SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER

 "...a disciple  of psychedelic subterfuge, couple with post-cool intensity..."

“Scott’s a fast, sometimes pyrotechnic pianist in the Kenny Barron mode, but more playful and stylistically diverse, as adept at ballads as he is barrelling along at full throttle. There’s a fearlessness and a completely out-of-the-box sensibility in his playing and his writing that ultimately goes back to punk rock.” 

“Scott builds the tension slowly, zipping along the melody/harmony like a Formula 1 driver.” Terrell Holmes, AllAboutJazz – New York

“Jazz. Not a big fan, except when it’s live, alternative, and alcohol-inspired. Dred’s trio hits the mark,  captivating listeners, especially during those late night Tuesdays at the Rockwood.”  Peter Harris, Indie Sounds NY “top 10 of 2005”

jazziz spring 2012


jazz times 5.1.12

jazz times review of going nowhere

by sharonne cohen

by sharonne cohen This hard-hitting self-produced album by pianist Dred Scott’s trio, released alongside an experimental solo recording entitled Prepared Piano, features seven original tracks penned by the leader and an adventurous take on Miles Davis and Victor Feldman’s “Seven Steps to Heaven.” The compositions and performances balance heady modernism with accessibility, demonstrating a cheeky playfulness in the process. Scott is supported by longtime bandmates Ben Rubin on bass and Tony Mason on drums. (This trio has been holding down an acclaimed residency at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall for the past six years.) Clocking in at a concise 44:44, the album winds through moods and temperaments, Scott telling different, often contradicting stories with each hand. The driving “Mojo Rhythm (Son of Yaah!)” sustains an aggressive rhythm, with Scott employing booming block chords and throwing in an irreverent “fuck you” mid-tune. The sumptuous and stirring “Press Play” and “Schneidleweiss” follow, their lyrical, tender quality not devoid of darker moments. “Apropos of Nothing” is angular yet languorous; the swinging “That Lick I Invented” displays the pianist’s affection for vintage bop and showcases Rubin’s deep, exploratory tone. “Seven Steps to Heaven” closes out the album with both reverence and abandon. Rhythmically frenetic yet wide open, it is nevertheless highly evocative of the original. Scott’s has asserted that this is his “last jazz record,” and hopefully that statement is simply emblematic of his prankish, tongue-in-cheek approach. We need to hear more from this strong, distinct voice.

syffal interview

shut your fucking face and listen
By: Tim Baker
Dred Scott.

You delicious son of a bitch. I love the music this man makes. The aggressive style of play that is equal parts cool, sophisticated and punch you in the face awesome.
I could just sit here all day and let the sounds of his playing soak my shirt till my Foofa from Yo Gabba Gabba tattoo is showing through my white Hanes v-neck tees.
Dred makes the kind of music that I would kill a pair of hitchhiking drifters and sell their organs to foreign combatants for the chance to experience that magic coming through my chubby little nubs of fingers. I recently sat down with Dred, showered him with complements and told him about my plans to kidnap him and keep him holed up in my storm shelter until I could harness the energy from his soul and/or blood.  I think I freaked him out.

SYFFAL: Our readers often fancy themselves above the fray and for some reason refuse to use traditional means to educate themselves, that said they look to us almost as a version of home schooling for their musical education. Can you please answer the following to help bring them up to speed:

- Who the Fuck are you?

Dred Scott (DS): What's it to you?

SYFFAL: Touche. Who does what in the band?

DS: The bass player plays the bass. The drummer plays the drums. I play the piano.

SYFFAL: I do not appreciate your sass! Which salted meat do you most smell like?

DS: Well, if you were to ask Ben Rubin this question he might respond, corned beef, because that is what's in a reuben sandwich. He might also say, kippered herring, which is not a meat but ben is Jewish and vegetarian. I think i smell like bacon in the summer and jerky in the winter.

SYFFAL: Your album has gotten me into 17 fist fights because it instills me with a false bravado and sense that I can bed any man, woman or child I choose. Was this what you were hoping to get across? If not what were you trying to achieve creatively with Going Nowhere?

DS: i think if you eliminate 'child' from the equation you might be able to cut down on the fisticuffs. Our music is for lovers - consenting men, women and animals. if someone wants to put my record on and get busy that would be an honor. I am not trying to make Fuck music, per se. I know what I like to put on when I'm fucking and it ain't some crazy free jazz shit. As far as trying to 'achieve' anything - I like to write and play jazz music. I would do it whether I achieved anything or not.

SYFFAL: You haven't lived until you fucked to free jazz bruh. Dred, what the Fuck? You make me so jealous. You play piano better than I have ever done anything, even self love, which I am quite good at. What advice do you have for aspiring pianists, or self lovers to maximize their potential?

DS: In all things, one should have a teacher or mentor, if possible - someone who's technique and sensitivity are inspirational and a motivation to practice and get better. It can help to have a teacher show you how and then do it together with you to maximize your potential.

SYFFAL: Are long fingers the key to both?

DS: I don't have long fingers so I use both hands and that just barely reaches around my cock for a nice, tight fit. Ditto the piano.

SYFFAL: You had me at ditto. I met Joel, my partner in all things SYFFAL at a Janet Jackson concert during the Velvet Rope tour, I was working as a weed carrier for the Bass Guitarist and he was an avid fan from Tulsa who dressed like Janet circa Rhythm Nation. He broke through security and made a mad dash for Janet's dressing room, since I already had issues with security, I hid him and took him on as my personal assistant and masseuse, the man has magical fingers. We quickly became friends, bonded over music and came up with the idea for SYFFAL. How did you guys meet, and when did you realize you had something special?

DS: Ben and I met at a turkish bathhouse in San Francisco. I noticed his hairy shoulders and since I had a bad biking accident in junior high that required skin grafts on my shoulders from my upper leg I also have patches or hair on my shoulders, leg hair. it's a little weird and I try to keep it shaved but I guess I had been slacking off on that part of my personal grooming. I had just moved to San Francisco and I guess (like everyone else) I was letting my hair down a bit. We became friends right off and started playing music together. That was almost 20 years ago.

Tony and I met through an online dating service. It's really a funny little story. I thought his name was Antonia. Imagine my surprise when he turned out to be a guy. We went ahead with the date anyway and had a really nice time. I went to one of his gigs subsequently and discovered he was quite a good drummer (in addition to being a really good kisser) so we started playing music together.

SYFFAL: So romantic! I have a theory, that much like our country, we are the evolutionary result of all that came before us. If you were to create a Mt. Rushmore for your band's influences, who would be Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Jefferson?

DS: Keith Jarret, Keith Jarrett, Keith Jarrett and Keith Jarrett. Seriously...Monk, Miles, Hendrix, Zappa.

SYFFAL: So you work as a solo artist, a duo and a trio, how is the creative process different for each scenario and what do you try to achieve artistically with each?

DS: No different. Does it sound good? Yes/No?

SYFFAL: Our site was started by a group of friends that were hell bent on not becoming those people that think the music they listened too in college is the pinnacle of music, so we started sharing music with each other and writing up goofy reviews to make each other laugh. In this spirit who are three artists, other than yourselves that we should be checking for?

DS: Graham Connah!!
Bill McHenry
Jim Campilongo

SYFFAL: In college I was one of those white guys who was hella into hip hop, only hung out with black people, dated black women and majored in black studies (seriously, im not bring a prick) so I know the history behind the name Dred Scott, how did you come to take it on? and what is the meaning behind it?

DS: Is this a serious question?

SYFFAL: You tell me. I often imagine being able to go back to high school knowing what I know now and cutting off the mullet, not being scared of girls, and going to the city ever weekend instead of drinking in my buddy Chris' basement. If you could go back and give your younger self some career advice, what three things would you tell him?

DS: Be pleasant and easy to work with.
Don't get too fucked up.
Ask for more money.

SYFFAL: Please promote whatever you would like here.

DS: New album Going Nowhere out now.

syffal review of going nowhere

shut your fucking face and listen
By: Tim Baker

Album Rating:
When I listen to Going Nowhere by the Dred Scott Trio I find myself transported to a land where every fucking step I take is cool. Not cool in the “Oh that's cool" kind of passive aggressive approach so many take to feign detachment, no I am talking smoking a cigarette and hanging out downtown cool. Levi's rolled up with two-tone suede oxfords, a pork pie hat and a wool coat cool. It is an attitude and vibe that the music instills in me that helps me to forget that I am a 30-something father rapidly descending into middle age and colonoscopies.

Dred Scott plays the kind of piano that gets you pussy, and not just suburban mom pussy, I am talking chic statuesque broads that know about art, literature and who order off the menu when they go to popular eateries, cause they have it like that. It is a sensual and smooth brand of piano that dabbles at hints of darkness and possible violence but keeps it all contained enough for you to ride with it throughout the weekend. Throw in a rhythm section, Ben Rubin on Bass and Tony Mason on drums, that drives the whole shebang forward and you have a potent blend of Jazz that sounds both new and classic and makes you dick pop out the pee-hole of your boxers when it chubs up from the sound.

It conjures up a classic kind of sensibility, of a manhood oft talked about in classic novels but rarely seen in real life. It is progress and passion rolled into one scotch soaked dandy of a time, which is best displayed in Final Resting Place.

There are so many moods on Going Nowhere, whether it is the aforementioned Final Resting Place, the lazy afternoon drinking music of Apropos of Nothing, the heroin fueled violence of Mojo Rhythm (Son of Yaah!) and 7 Steps to Heaven, or the sensual comfort of Press Play and Schneidleweiss; it delivers the type of wallop that one often dreams of but rarely gets.

I am jealous of the genius of Dred Scott and the Dred Scott Trio. I would kill to be as masterful with my chosen craft as they are with their's. Going Nowhere is a substantial and glorious statement of at time past and a longing for something better.

It is beautiful beyond words.

links to more articles

from the san jose mercury news, january 2014.

here's an article from the times about ping-pong playing jazz musicians.

here's a review of a smalls gig at lucid culture.

we played at the lily pad in boston.  what i like is sounds reviewed the gig.

allaboutjazz review of live at the rockwood.