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Ken Field: Tokyo in F

Glenn Astarita By

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Whether educating students at workshops, scoring soundtracks for television, i.e. “Sesame Street”, “HBO” and “PBS” or his ongoing affiliation with the band, “Birdsongs of the Mesozoic”, New England area saxophonist/composer Ken Field is liable to pull quite a few tricks out of the many hats he wears. With two highly acclaimed solo efforts to his credit, Pictures of Motion and Subterranea Field’s latest recording features three reputable Japanese musicians whom he had only met prior to the actual performance.

Tokyo in F features two lengthy pieces that according to the liners are totally improvised which seems somewhat astounding considering the uncanny synergy and intuitiveness exhibited among the four musicians. Throughout the “First and Second Sets” the musicians articulate minimalist and contemporary classical-like recitals amid playful dialogue, shrewd utilization of space and weaving fabrics of sound that often appear fragile or delicate. On the “Second Set”, the musicians heighten the intensity as they artfully merge chamber-like incantations with semi-chaotic free jazz improvisation. Here, the music seems to melt before our ears as if the two disparate styles caused some sort of chemical reaction.......

Ken Field once again demonstrates his seemingly boundless capabilities as an adventure seeker who is willing to take risks. Yet Field’s ambitious projects often reap huge rewards for the willing listener as Tokyo in F proves that notion beyond a reasonable doubt. Highly recommended. (See Allen Huotari’s in depth interview with Ken Field in the August 2000 issue of All About Jazz.com)

* * * * ½ out of (* * * * *)

Track Listing: First Set; Second Set.

Personnel: Ken Field: alto sax, flute, percussion; Katsui Yuji: violin; Kido Natsuki: guitar; Shimizu Kazuto: piano.

Title: Tokyo In F | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Sublingual Records

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