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Over the years, Fields has   been a kind of one-man avant-garde, doing a variety of original work in Madison, Wisconsin, and this album continues his mission with the usual humane understatement. A goal of the first four movements of this five-movement piece is to blur the distinction between written and improvised music. During those movements, at least one written part and one improvised part is steadily played by two of the album’s five musicians — Fields on guitar, Carrie Biolo on vibes, marimba and unpitched percussion, Guillermo Gregorio on alto sax and clarinet, and Greg Kelley on trumpet — while the remaining three either improvise or play written music, constantly shifting the balance between the two. The fifth movement, composed by Gregory Taylor, uses Cycling 74’s Max/MSP software to blend and processes the solo work of each ensemble member.

Overall, the results are pleasingly low-keyed, with all sorts of unusual colors and textures being produced. There’s a lot of contrapuntal work here, but the musicians stay out of each other’s way, making their work easy to follow. But that doesn’t make it shallow. B PLUS — Harvey Pekar,   Urban Dialect

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