Home » Jazz Articles » Playfield: Stepping Out


Album Review

Playfield: Stepping Out


Sign in to view read count
Playfield: Stepping Out
577 Records founder, chief architect, free blowing, free willed, harmonic rebel and reed master Daniel Carter has never shied away from the unknown metropolis. From the silent instant which captures the imagination and sends it sleighing its own peaks and valleys, Carter, and whoever chooses to accept his challenge to participate, let the moment move them and the music into new spaces.

Playfield, as this particular congregate of players from downtown NY is dubbed, brings it all to the foreground on Stepping Out. These harsh yet restive urban tone poems push, plunge, and manipulate their own. They abandon the old playbook and choose not to replace it with another set of rules, of coinage, of equilibrium. Vocalist Luisa Muhr's urging exclamations and proclamations serve as the human cry and chatter of myth encountered on any street while venturing the shadows of New York City—especially a city slowly opening up to itself and the world after a plague tried to kill it.

Recording for the first time in a studio in Brooklyn (Carter prefers the sounds of the city to be included in his music, so he records outdoors) Playfield set about creating a sonic cityscape which is never easy to define because it is always in the act of transpiring, looping around itself, subject to the next sound of piston and gear, gunshot and siren. So pianist Eric Plaks, bassist Zachary Swanson, drummer Jon Panikkar, fellow sax man Ayumi Ishito, willfully conspire with Carter and guitarists Aron Namenwirth and Yutaka Takahashi to create a sound and a moment in sound that no other city in the world can claim. It is crystalline and muddy, spiritual and secular. It is human and therefore beautiful.

Track Listing

.Tree House; Ice Cream Mountain; Loves Electric Touch


Daniel Carter: saxophone; Luisa Muhr: voice / vocals; Ayumi Ishito: saxophone; Zachary Swanson: bass; Eric Plaks: piano; Yutaka Takahashi: guitar; Aron Namenwirth: guitar; Jon Panikkar: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Ayumi Ishito - Electronics; Yutaka Takahashi - Electronics; Aron Namenwirth - Electronics.

Album information

Title: Stepping Out | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: 577 Records

Post a comment about this album

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.



Voices: A Musical Heritage
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra
Leon Foster Thomas
Playing With Standards
Seppe Gebruers


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.