Tag Archives: Marilyn Crispell

The Squid’s Ear review by Massimo Ricci

CF 258Scott Fields – Five Frozen Eggs (CF 258)
While looking for a point of light helping me through a better assimilation of Five Frozen Eggs’ refined complexity (and considering that I hadn’t listened to the original 1996 release) my eye fell on a quasi-nonchalant clue thrown by the nominal leader in the liners: all seven pieces were created following methods engendered by the mind of composer Stephen Dembski. Hopefully Fields will forgive the rapid investigations made to fill the umpteenth gap in my presumed knowledge, but now the conceptualization of the intentions lying behind this work appears clear: Dembski is a stalwart at the University of Wisconsin-Madison music faculty and — among diverse talents — a man who constantly looks for new ways (including the development of softwares) to generate broad-minded compositional structures. Fields, a regular collaborator, has always been concerned with tearing down the damp walls that delimit jazz and other varieties of artistic contemporariness. All of a sudden this reviewer realized that the suppositional reticence fought over the course of the first half-dozen of listens was instead merely screening a series of transparent interactions in a small universe where contrapuntal fungibility is the (flexible) criterion to follow.

The rest came easy. Marilyn Crispell courteously reclaims a role of co-protagonist thanks to her chordal radiancy imbued of classily radical obstinance. Hans Sturm has the honor of opening the album with a splendid solo (entirely notated, as stressed by Fields), then keeps nourishing the lowermost of the audio spectrum with a combination of drama and logicality. Hamid Drake impressively dissects the motoric principles, exploring secret erogenous zones in the music’s animate organic qualities, stroking and tapping a fine-grained fresco that spreads across the program, remaining nearly silent when he feels like. There are several atmospheric and stylistic changes in here — from the contemplation of the title track and “Laogai” to the discordant march of “Little Soldiers For Science”, the lone place where the tolerant boss utilizes a modicum of distortion. The only traces of prototypical swing are found in “The Archaeopteryx and the Manatees”, quieted afterwards by a gorgeous lyrical interlude. Enough words, already: just enjoy the intelligence of a quartet for which the definition “acoustic facade” will never exist.
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Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

CF 258Scott Fields – 5 Frozen Eggs (CF 258)
Alright, so today it’s not a matter of rock. The blog never has been and I suppose never will be only that. Today we consider something by an electric guitarist and his ensemble, something in the realm of avant jazz, free jazz if you like that term.  Scott Fields is a player of genuine stature in this realm. And the recording is a well-healed excursion with a top-notch ensemble. The album is named 5 Frozen Eggs (Clean Feed 258).   Scott Fields amassed some signpost-like and/or more fleshed-out compositions for the date to help the ensemble set mood, tone and direction. Then he and the group cut loose with some very free and eloquent improvisations. The results are what one might expect if you know the players–Marilyn Crispell on piano, Hamid Drake, drums, Hans Sturm, acoustic bass, and of course Scott on electric.   The Fields guitar style is pretty (sometimes very) electric and filled with all kinds of melodic twists and turns. You get the feeling listening as he plays that there is no discernable gap between what he thinks musically and what comes out of the instrument. The mind envisions lines of broad harmonic ramification, the hands execute with style and drama. He’s creating lines that sound like they are completely his–because they ARE.   The piano improvisations of Ms. Crispell are, as always, extraordinarily creative and impactful. Her playing has a logic to it and flows in unending inspiration, or so it sounds. Hans Sturm churns it up at the bottom with an excellent sound and feel. Hamid Drake comes across as poised, dead-on, yet very free. He swings in his very own way when called upon and he like the others can create much that’s inspired in a spontaneous setting. The complete drummer, he is.   So there you have it–four excellent improvisers doing great work interactively and individually, some appropriate compositional frameworks within which that happens, and a guitar stylist who belongs to a category of one, Scott Fields.   It’s music that stays essential and vibrant throughout. If I were rich and they were available, I’d have these folks play at my birthday party! The next best thing is 5 Frozen Eggs. Happy birthday to everybody with this one! Fields and company create music that celebrates life, freely and smartly.
http://www.gapplegateguitar.blogspot.pt/2013/03/scott-fields-5-frozen-eggs.html