Composer /Saxophonist/Percussionist Ken Field is adept in the art of culture jamming. His music, played on Sesame Street, schemes to steer the little ones away from senseless drivel and back to creative music. Field, a member of the celebrated modern music ensemble Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic since 1988, has his second solo release, a follow-up to the 1996 Subterranea
(O.O. Discs). Like his first release, he utilizes the overdubbing of his alto saxophone, to produce sounds reminiscent of Jameel Moondog, or he plays a bit of call and response ala The Lounge Lizards Voice Of Chunk
. “Confluence Suite” opens like a Phillip Glass composition, with guest saxophonists Amy Denio and Jessica Lurie of The Billy Tipton Saxophone Quartet applying the repetitive line, only to be chased by a drum-n-bass line straight out of a rave. Field’s brilliance as a composer is his ability to pass off high-minded composition through a thoroughly accessible sound. “Parade,” a track presented from his Sesame Street work, is noteworthy example. He guides a saxophone quartet plus bass and drummers through a classic New Orleans march, all the time presenting the interplay of thought, emotions and group improvisation. After a march down Bourbon Street, how could any little talking Elmo fan go back to the simple songs of the purple dinosaur? The closest musical comparison I could find to Field’s concept of cultural jamming would be that of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, that’s some good company! Ken Field inhabits a territory closest comparison to a fellow culture jammer in the music world would be to that of Rahsaan Roland Kirk.
Track List:Pictures Of Motion; Canned Chicken; Corteo; Plitvice; Tensleep; Pass Along; Some Things Reconsidered; Parade; Book Of Balance; Road To Recluse; Confluence Suite; Time Remembered; Bells Of Balance.