Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scott Fields - Beckett (Clean Feed, 2007)

Guitarist and composer Scott Fields is greatly inspired by the work of other artists, particularly writers and playwrights. The Irish writer Samuel Beckett seems to be a particular inspiration, as this was the first of two homages to his work. Accompanying Fields on this journey are Matthias Schubert on tenor saxophone, Scott Roller on cello and John Hollenbeck on drums and percussion. "Play" is a quicksilver collective improvisation, with cello and saxophone trade sections with a warm but crisp sounding guitar. The music is fast and exciting, propelling bu great drumming and a nervous yet fast and surefooted energy. "Come and Go" slows things down a bit with a performance that is much more abstract and probing. Mournful cello gives things a melancholy air. "What Where" opens with stark saxophone and guitar moving into a wild and free improvisation that moves way out into sections of pure sound. There is a more open section of pointillist guitar and cello moving finally into a nice free section where drums and saxophone are first amongst equals. "Rockaby" finishes things up beginning with guitar focused mid-tempo improvisation and a nice intricate section before they break into a near funk groove with strutting tenor saxophone. I'm not quite sure how Fields used Beckett as an inspiration for this album, perhaps he used the settings or some other aspect from the plays to develop a structure for the improvisations that are conducted here. They evolve in a suite like manner as if there are cues that the musicians are following as keys to their improvisations. Regardless, the music is very interesting and exciting and one needs no knowledge of the literature to enjoy it.
Beckett -

Send comments to: Tim