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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Elliott Sharp: Ostryepolya

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Elliott Sharp / Scott Fields Ostryepolya PanRec / NotTwo Records 2013 The musical meeting of innovative guitarists Elliott Sharp and Scott Fields came by coincidence. Both were aware of each other's work for many years, but the opportunity of playing as a duo never arose. Each is a master composer and improviser with extensive experience accumulated in various formats. Sharp pioneered the usage of fractal geometry, chaos theory, genetic metaphors and using software in his compositions. Fields, who, like Sharp, plays the soprano saxophone, was commissioned for orchestral compositions.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Fields / Jeffrey Lependorf: Everything is in the instructions

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 ...



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