Scott Fields Ensemble with Hamid Drake: Dénouement
Avant Jazz / Free Improvisation / Avant-Garde
premiera polska: 2010-08-09
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
opakowanie: kartonowe etui
The music on Dénouement - which was recorded 10 years ago and pressed on Scott Fields' obscure Geode label - is quite different from his first Clean Feed release, "Beckett." Although both projects, like virtually all of Fields' music, intentionally muddle up the written and improvised parts, one is a chamber jazz quartet interpreting word-for-word settings of Samuel Beckett plays while the other is mirror-image trios playing intertwined, but contrasting free-jazz compositions. The double band is a durable tradition in modern and avant-garde jazz. In this case it's a double trio, with two electric guitars, two double basses, and two drum kits. Other notable double bands include Ornette Coleman's double quartet on "Free Jazz," Ned Rothenberg's Double Band, the Barrage Double Trio, ROVA's Figure 8 project, and the Arcado / Trio de Clarinettes pairing. Even Max Roach did it, bonding a string quartet to his reeds-trumpet-bass-drums combo. Fields wanted twins because he conceived the music on "Dénouement" as two parts that would fit together like pistons in a cylinder, bolts in nuts, plugs in sockets. The musicians' playing would be thoroughly tangled but the trios would remain identifiable, like a plate of white and squid-ink spaghetti. Everything matches, even the contrasts, and those introduced by the personalities of the musicians involved: Fields playing the guitar for the right-channel trio, guitarist Jeff Parker - of Tortoise fame - on the left, bassists Hans Sturm for the right-channel trio and Jason Roebke for the left, and a pair of extraordinary drummers, Hamid Drake in the right-channel trio and Michael Zerang, left. But pay attention, there's a clockwork mechanism here: intermeshed rhythm patterns and tonal systems bind and separate the trios. Everyone knows what to do and when, and does it with an astonishing sense of fluidity. Don't miss it...
All About Jazz:
Chicago-based guitarist Scott Fields most successful projects, such as Mamet (Delmark, 2001), and Beckett (Clean Feed, 2007), offer a novel merger of structured improvisation inspired by literary sources, this album included. Recorded in 1997 and previously available only on Fields' own tiny Geode label, this session sat dormant for ten years before this Clean Feed reissue.
Denouement features a unique double ensemble, two electric guitar trios playing in tandem, but rarely in unison. In 1997, Fields' working trio consisted of bassist Hans Sturm and drummer Hamid Drake. Fellow Midwesterners, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Michael Zerang pilot the second trio with guitarist Jeff Parker. Five years before his solo debut, Like-Coping (Delmark, 2003), Parker demonstrates the lyrical finesse and adventurous risk-taking that has brought him acclaim as part of the new Chicago scene.
Using multiple pitch sets and compound rhythmic figures to create an off-kilter sensibility, Fields creates a complex mosaic of contrapuntal lines and cross-rhythms. Modulating dynamics with nuance and relaxed pacing, the ensemble meanders from austere chamber-esque duets exploring pointillist dialogue to dense collective passages that unfurl knotty tendrils of abstruse commentary fueled by angular, interlocking rhythms. To his credit, these layered compositions feel unforced, belying their structural intricacy.
Intertwining with graceful subtlety, the two trios navigate similar paths without drifting in cacophonous discourse. Drake and Zerang's elastic rhythms skirt between skittering harmonic accents and fulminating energy, while Roebke and Sturm occasionally alternate techniques, bowing fractured double stops and sonorous arco glisses or plucking metered pizzicato.
Fields and Parker offer a kaleidoscopic array of scintillating tonal colors and subtle electronic textures. Less EFX dependent than many electric guitarists, they rely on sensitivity of touch and phrasing for their sound, rather than twiddling knobs on stomp boxes. Employing a variety of approaches, from pensive, linear patterns to blistering fretwork exuding jittery bursts of atonality, they complement and contrast each other with remarkable restraint and a seething undercurrent of roiling energy.
Fields' darkly humorous song titles allude to the uncertain resolutions of morose, convoluted narratives, much like his own compositions. Intricate, but not overly esoteric, Denouement is a welcome reissue and a high water mark in Fields' varied discography.
By Troy Collins
Hamid Drake: drums
Hans Sturm: bass
Jason Roebke: bass
Jeff Parker: guitar
Michael Zerang: drums
Scott Fields: guitar
1. Her Children 10:50
2. Although Each Had Married 13:07
3. The Shots He Missed 8:00
4. The "Genius" Injections 9:56
5. His Late Wife 15:04
6. The Man He Killed 7:11
7. Nothing Had Been Wrong 7:50
more info: www.cleanfeed-records.com
more info2: www.scottfields.com
- Clean Feed (POR)
- Scott Fields Ensemble [Hamid Drake / Hans Sturm / Jason Roebke / Jeff Parker / Michael Zerang / Scott Fields]