Russell Carlson      John Corbett      Julian Cowley      Stefan Gijssels      Walter Horn      Hugh Jarrid      Chris Kelsey      Budd Kopman      Jon Morgan      Harvey Pekar      Alexandre Pierrepont      Massimo Ricci      Alexander Schmitz      Derek Taylor      Dan Warburton      Kevin Whitehead     

publications   Jazziz, Urban Dialect, Isthmus

personal contacts   Harvey, who died recently, was one of the first national critics to review my music. We spoke on the phone several times and met once. Shortly before the movie based on his comic series, and so his life, American Splendor, was released, we spoke on the phone. I said that he must be excited. He said “I don’t know. I don’t see how I’ll make any money on it.” For his second review of one of my CDs, Fugu, he chewed out the community of Madison, Wisconsin, where I lived at the time, for insufficiently respecting and acknowledging my work. As it turned out, this was not an effective way to endear a musician to the local audience.

reviewed   Running with Scissors, Fugu, From the Diary of Dog Drexel, profile for Jazziz

bias   Although Harvey was best known as writer of the American Splendor comic books and as the subject of the movie of the same name, and for his contentious appearances on the David Letterman Show, he was a long time jazz critic and collector. He had no apparent bias.

reviewership   For his pure, unsullied Harvey-ness 5 upturned noses.

musicianship   If he had been a musician, I think I would have read of it in American Splendor, but I don’t know for sure.

aggregate rating   5 upturned noses.

from Five Frozen Eggs   Fields wrote all of the compositions on this stimulating CD and plays them on guitar with pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Hans Sturm, and percussionist Hamid Drake. Despite often performing quietly, they take plenty of risks. Fields employs harmonic and rhythmic/metric concepts derived from composer Stephen Dembski, which he’s modified for use in an improvising context. Often his group’s playing, though not conventionally melodic, is lyrical. Much of the disc features thoughtful, pointillistic collective improvisation. Crispell’s the most aggressive player here and performs impressively. Her work ranges from pensive to jarringly percussive, but is always well thought out, inventive, and clearly articulated. Fields plays economically, concentrating on adding color to the ensemble. Sturm and Drake make valuable contributions, listening closely to what’s going on and responding with intelligence and creativity.


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