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   One Final Note, Cadence. Used to manage the blog/webzine Bagatellen

personal contacts   We lived in Madison, Wisconsin at the same time for a few years and worked together in a non-profit jazz support organization.

reviewed   Dénouement, Hornets Collage, Bitter Love Songs, We Were The Phliks

bias   Fond of downtown improvisers.

reviewership   Too nice to be a critic. Well-listened but inadequate analysis. Flabby writing. 3 upturned noses.

musicianship   Derek says he was once a mediocre bassist. Taking his word, 1.5 upturned noses.

aggregate rating   2.5 upturned noses.

from Bitter Love Songs   The music curiously recalls the early Nineties work of Joe Morris in its preference for pared down frills-free interplay. Jagged single note runs race regularly atop undulating bass and drums rhythms. Think Flip and Spike, and more specifically “Itan” and “Mombaccus,” and your close to the aural mark. Fields’ tone is often a bit rounder and cleaner than JoMo’s and that may be a function of the recording, but there’s a comparable frequency of densely knotted note clusters, spit out at staccato intervals. Bassist Sebastian Gramss and drummer João Lobo traffic in comparable agitation and irascibility, shading in the cracks around Fields’ chattery plectrum pings while still keeping the pieces intentionally off-kilter. It’s a dynamic intended to ape the disquieting feeling just prior to when one’s heart goes under the knife of betrayal and scorn. The pieces follow similar schemas until “I was good enough for you until your friends butted in” when the seething clouds break a bit into more spacious variation of melancholy. This is easily Fields most jazz-oriented album in many moons and a welcome fang-fringed spin on familiar forms.


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