Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields / Jeffrey Lependorf: Everything is in the instructions

Read "Everything is in the instructions" reviewed by

Composer of contemporary chamber music and opera and certified master of the Japanese shakuhachi flute Jeffrey Lependorf cites an insightful incident he had with iconoclastic composer John Cage that reveals much about typical misconceptions about what is right and what is wrong in music and art. Lebendorf wanted Cage to clarify his vague instructions for a theater piece he was assigned to assist a choreographer to prepare. But Cage insisted, kindly enough, that “everything is in the instructions." After the performance of this piece, and following the standing ovation, Lependorf asked again Cage for his opinion, and Cage, typically but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields Ensemble: Samuel

Read "Samuel" reviewed by

The works of Samuel Beckett have been a recurrent source of inspiration for guitarist Scott Fields. Samuel is Fields' second effort at conveying the master's prose through pure sound, following Beckett (Clean Feed, 2007). Transposing the original text of Beckett's plays into precise pitches, chords and time signatures, Fields transforms Beckett's wordplay into melodies and harmonies that share more than a passing resemblance to jazz. Despite their cerebral origins and abstruse character, the ensuing works are in fact fairly accessible.

Eschewing pure free improvisation in favor of advanced compositional structures, Fields has long been an advocate of composer ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Prose Inspired Projects: Scott Fields/Henning Sieverts

Read "Prose Inspired Projects: Scott Fields/Henning Sieverts" reviewed by

Scott Fields Ensemble Beckett Clean Feed 2007 Henning Sieverts Symmetry Pirouet 2007 Both of these releases have prose as their muse and include drummer John Hollenbeck as a sideman. This is not surprising as Hollenbeck is a meticulous musician who has a proclivity for precision and a propensity for delicate phrasing. Electric guitarist Scott Fields fronts a quartet that employs free improvisation to depict more the form and feel than the storyline of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields: Bitter Love Songs

Read "Bitter Love Songs" reviewed by

While the sardonic album title alludes to a session fraught with rancorous despair, guitarist Scott Fields' Bitter Love Songs is, perhaps ironically, one of his most accessible efforts. Born in Chicago, but now based in Cologne, Germany, Fields recorded this date in his new home town with German bassist Sebastian Gramss and Portuguese drummer Joao Lobo. An iconoclast who favors unusual instrumental combinations, this is his first guitar trio recording since Mamet (Delmark, 2001), with bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Michael Zerang.

In the scathing liner notes Fields explains that the unsettled themes, fitful rhythms and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields: Bitter Love Songs

Read "Bitter Love Songs" reviewed by

The Freetet is ostensibly Cologne-based guitarist Scott Fields' “traditional blowing vehicle," and Bitter Love Songs is his first in the guitar-bass-drums format since Mamet (Delmark, 2001), with bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Michael Zerang. On Bitter Love Songs, he's joined by German bassist Sebastian Gramss and Portuguese drummer Joao Lobo. What makes this date a semi- departure for Fields is that, in the last six years, most of his work has been for chamber ensembles with unique instrumentation; improvised but with challenging notation. These include Beckett (Clean Feed, 2006) and We Were the Phliks (Rogue Art, 2007).

“Yea Sure, We ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields Ensemble: Denouement

Read "Denouement" reviewed by

Chicago-based guitarist Scott Fields most successful projects, such as Mamet (Delmark, 2001), and Beckett (Clean Feed, 2007), offer a novel merger of structured improvisation inspired by literary sources, this album included. Recorded in 1997 and previously available only on Fields' own tiny Geode label, this session sat dormant for ten years before this Clean Feed reissue.

Denouement features a unique double ensemble; two electric guitar trios playing in tandem, but rarely in unison. In 1997, Fields' working trio consisted of bassist Hans Sturm and drummer Hamid Drake. Fellow Midwesterners, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Michael Zerang pilot the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields Ensemble: Beckett

Read "Beckett" reviewed by

Beckett follows in the conceptual footsteps of Mamet (Delmark, 2001), guitarist Scott Fields' previous project inspired by an author. Tracking the thematic similarities between Beckett's writing and Fields' compositions is a tenuous prospect, like any project that yields inspiration from a divergent art form. Nonetheless, the album provides a challenging and rewarding listen on its own, with or without knowledge of its genesis.

From aleatoric excursions to blistering, jittery free-bop, Fields has an ear for adventurous, unconventional sounds. Christening his work “post-free jazz," Fields' complex, multi-part compositions reveal themselves gradually, providing ample room for solo expression and unified ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Parker/Scott Fields: Song Songs Song

Read "Song Songs Song" reviewed by

Although we are told that first impressions are usually correct (the “go with your gut" approach), the liner notes for this release nearly derailed my enjoyment of the music. The notes, such as they are, were written by Fields and consist of a stream-of-consciousness collection of words and phrases in a postmodern style full of in-jokes and self-references, but also a lot of information if you stay with them (including a somewhat snide reference to Kali Fasteau , who does not even know Fields). Some of them are funny, even witty, and Fields actually makes a mistake ("Hendrix's flat nines" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields Ensemble: Christangelfox

Read "Christangelfox" reviewed by

Three musicians gather to make music. Each plays an instrument and percussion that comes in a set of four. Their percussion comprises scrap metal, stone, and wood, all of which float on foam slabs. They begin and then go on for the next hour playing the composition of Scott Fields.

The music on Christangelfox is influenced by Asian cultures, but as Fields notes in the liner notes, that intention is not formal. But it does give a pith and air to the process, whether it be in the loop and swell of the cello from Matt Turner or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields Ensemble: Mamet

Read "Mamet"

In search for vessels of influence beyond expected musical sources Wisconsin based guitarist Scott Fields has uncovered an intriguing fount of inspiration for his debut Delmark release in the dramatic work of modern American playwrights. Stripped down to power trio instrumentation, but often employing a diffuse long-winded approach Fields explores many of the same sound relationships he’s delved into on earlier recordings including bridges between improvisation and composition and specialized ways in which musicians may interact.

Mamet is something kindred spirit to Fields in terms of the types of moods, emotional dissonance and disconnection he explores in his theatre works ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields Ensemble: D

Read "D"

Alliteration and rhythm, hyperbole and bombast. Literary devices and their musical counterparts often incorporate similar means to an end. Both are designed to elicit specific emotions and responses in their audiences. Scott Fields explores the ramifications of one such device, denouement, on this latest release on his own Geode imprint. In literature denouement denotes the final resolution of plot intricacies at the close of a story. Each of Fields’ song titles illustrates the culmination of a dramatic scenario, many with a sharp edge of dark humor. Concurrently the compositions work on an analogous level through a series of ensemble and ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

Join Us Today!

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.