160

Scott Fields: Bitter Love Songs

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Scott Fields: Bitter Love Songs 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 grating dissonances elicited by the trio are intended to invoke the nerve-wracking nausea that accompanies the impending dissolution of romance. While all of these traits are present, they are often fairly subtle; in contrast to his exotic conceptual projects, this loose trio session is actually somewhat conventional.



With Fields as the principle soloist, Gramss and Lobo follow the guitarist's lead, providing stirring rhythmic accompaniment that vacillates in tempo from casual to frantic. The majority of the tunes saunter at a buoyant mid-tempo clip with periods of intermittent turbulence. Occasionally reaching a fevered pitch, but never boiling over, the trio generates a more agreeable mood than one would expect from such song titles as "My Love Is Love, Your Love Is Hate" and "Your Parents Must Be Just Ecstatic Now." Only "I Was Good Enough for You Until Your Friends Butted In" breaks form with a languorous abstract blues.



A proponent of structured improvisation based on tone row manipulation, Fields conveys his enigmatic statements with focused intensity. He fires rapid salvoes of knotty linear cadences at regular staccato intervals from his clean-toned hollow body. At his most feverish, he conjures blistering chromatic note clusters as he scuttles across his fretboard. Together, Gramss' elastic walking bass patterns, Lobo's shuffling trap set ruminations and Fields' thorny commentary coil into a kaleidoscopic mosaic of expressionistic interplay.



Despite the derisive title, Bitter Love Songs is a compelling example of modern jazz guitar improvisation supported by an empathetic rhythm section. For aficionados of unfettered guitar traditions, this is essential listening.

Track Listing: Yea, Sure, We Can Still Be Friends, Whatever; Go Ahead, Take the Furniture, at Least You Helped Pick It Out; My Love Is Love, Your Love Is Hate; Your Parents Must Be Just Ecstatic Now; I Was Good Enough for You Until Your Friends Butted In; You Used to Say I Love You but So What Now.

Personnel: Scott Fields: electric guitar; Sebastian Gramss: bass; Joao Lobo: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Expansions  Live" CD/LP/Track Review Expansions Live
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Heavy Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Weather
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: February 15, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!