308

Scott Fields Ensemble: Beckett

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Fields Ensemble: Beckett 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 thematic development. Packed with intricate counterpoint and tight group interplay, these labyrinthine works blur the line between the composed and the improvised with kaleidoscopic, pre-written passages and dense, free-wheeling improvisations.

Joining him for the first time are three new collaborators. Ubiquitous percussionist John Hollenbeck is a fountainhead of unique textures and unconventional rhythms, his pneumatic inventions contribute an array of percussive wonder to the session. Tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert blends fervent angularity with a flighty, mercurial zeal, especially during his spasmodic tirade on the agitated "What Where." Cellist Scott Roller employs a diverse approach, blending a sober, singing tone with a scathing bow attack. His lyrical turn on the pensive introspection of "Come and Go" is as delicately melodious as his assertive assault on "What Where" is jarring. The leader shines in this spartan context, his bright tone accenting a razor sharp fusillade of notes one minute, genteel chords the next (sometimes together), as on the zany swing of "Rockaby."

Although conceptual allusions to literature might suggest haughty pretension, Beckett is actually Fields' most varied and swinging record in years. Even at their most abstract, these are engaging compositions, bolstered by zealous group interaction, rich harmonic ingenuity and stunning dynamic range. Like the work of its dedicatee, one listen to this album won't do it justice.


Track Listing: Breath; Play; Come and Go; What Where; Rockaby.

Personnel: Scott Fields: electric guitar; Matthias Schubert: tenor saxophone; Scott Roller: cello; John Hollenbeck percussion.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Jim Hall Jim Hall
guitar
Vijay Iyer Vijay Iyer
piano
Gary Burton Gary Burton
vibraphone
Bela Fleck Bela Fleck
banjo
Terje Rypdal Terje Rypdal
guitar
Scott Kinsey Scott Kinsey
keyboard
Mark Whitecage Mark Whitecage
sax, alto
Zony Mash
band/orchestra
Pierre Favre Pierre Favre
drums
Jazz Mandolin Project Jazz Mandolin Project
band/orchestra

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Hera" CD/LP/Track Review Hera
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "With Due Respect" CD/LP/Track Review With Due Respect
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Tropical Infinito" CD/LP/Track Review Tropical Infinito
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!