He has played and collaborated with Miles Davis, Dave Liebman, Joe Henderson, Charles Mingus, Joey DeFrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Pat Martino, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Billy Cobham, Medeski Martin & Wood, George Duke, Jaco Pastorius, John Mayer, Robert Glasper, and Gov’t Mule.
Scofield’s family left Ohio and relocated to the small, then mostly rural town of Wilton, Connecticut; it was here that he discovered his interest in music.
Educated at the Berklee College of Music, Scofield eventually left school to record with Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan. He joined the Billy Cobham/George Duke Band soon after and spent two years playing, recording and touring with them. He recorded with Charles Mingus in 1976, and replaced Pat Metheny in Gary Burton‘s quartet. Scofield received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee in 1997.
In 1976 Scofield signed with Enja Records and released his first album, John Scofield, in 1977. He recorded with pianist Hal Galper, first on his own solo album Rough House in 1978, and then on Galper’s album Ivory Forest (1980), where he played a solo rendition of Thelonious Monk‘s “Monk’s Mood”