The fourth time is, well, even more charming than the first three outings for Scary Goldings. The sort-of supergroup is built on the creative collision between veteran jazz organist — and part-time YouTube funny man — Larry Goldings and Scary Pockets, a group of young funk cats headed by guitarist Ryan Lerman and Wurlitzer specialist Jack Conte. This time, the collective, with bassist Mononeon and rotating drummers, invited guitarist John Scofield to the unfettered musical party. The players gathered in the same room, sans headphones and click track, recorded spontaneously co-written tunes live in the studio, then jammed on the changes as if their lives depended on it.
Scofield makes his entrance on “Cornish Hen,” its low-slung funk driven by drummer Lemar Carter’s sticky backbeat, while Sco’s over-driven, slightly scorched guitar leads the way. The group occasionally stops for breaks and segues somewhat reminiscent of Booker T. & the M.G.’s or The Meters before opening up for solos. Sco is also aboard for the squiggly maneuvers of “Bruise Cruise”; the syncopated bluesy stomp and fusion riffs of “Professor Vicarious”; the slinky “The Shiner,” its keys hinting at Black Market
-era Weather Report; the laid-back “Meter’s Running”; and the cheekily named “Tacobell’s Canon,” complete with an infectious melody and modulations.
The album’s other four tracks, sans Sco, are nearly as much fun, beginning with “Disco Pills,” indeed fueled by the kind of beat — pumped by drummer Tamir Barzilay — and slinky guitar that might have served as ’70s dance-floor fodder. Shimmering organ swells take center stage on “Lurch,” while the soul jazz-edged “Pony Up” and the more energetic “Hi Ho Silverstein” — not unlike other tracks — feel like they could have been concocted at 3 a.m. somewhere out of the way in uptown New Orleans. It’s all decidedly groovealicious. — Philip Booth