Here's the first installment of a series devoted to one of my favourite jazz guitarists. I transcribed this John Scofield lick from the tune Cachaça off of his 2006 album with MMW, Out Louder. It happens at approximately 1:29 and demonstrates Sco's unpredictable approach to phrasing.
Over a Dm7, Scofield plays a provocative descending run that outlines a Gm9b5 arpeggio. This introduces the raised 7th (C#) over Dm7, effectively evoking a D harmonic minor tonality. The pull off at the end of the 1st bar is typical of Sco’s ability to jump to wider intervals while playing 16th notes. The second bar sees Sco sliding to another “out” note, a major 3rd (F#), that eventually resolves into some short bluesy moves. Experiment with some of these ideas in your own solos over Dm7, especially weaving in and out of Gm9b5 and staple D minor pentatonic licks to create interest. Follow me on Twitter @halwit and on youtube.com/halromusic for more lessons and transcriptions!
Related link: Scofield Lick #2, Scofield Lick #3