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Wer Elliott Sharp kennt weiss, dass der ständige Verbleib im Experiment für den Gitarristen mehr zählt als Konvention und Schema. Im Instrumentalkollegen Scott Fields, einem zeitlos renitenten Rocker, hat Sharp einen Seelenverwandten gefunden. Ihr Stahlsaiten-Akustikgitarrenprojekt dokumentieren sie in der neuen Aufnahme “Afiadacampos”. Eine Klangreise mit unbekanntem Ziel, vorbei an den Urgrün den des reinen Klangs, dem Meer unendlicher Obertšne und zarten Melodiewšlkchen. Independent meets Jazz, Rock meets Classic, Sound meets Structure. Die beiden mischen Improvisation mit wohlbedachten Klangskizzen, Virtuosität mit simplem Saitenkrachen. Ein Heidenspass für die beiden Musiker, zweifellos. Ein hartes Stück Arbeit — lohnenswerte gleichwohl — für den Zuhörer. — Markus Klohr,   Jazz Podium



Both proven improvising guitarists and  composers, two lucid cerebrums shining under the spotlight in the digipak’s inside photo, Sharp and Fields present the second recorded chapter of an ongoing partnership after Scharfefelder on Clean Feed. Armed with, respectively, a 1985 Thomas Reg’n and a 1998 Collings OM-2H — hold your drooling, jealous handlers of cheap Taiwanese imitations — the comrades cancel the obnoxious smell of scalar mustiness and rubber-nose electric tones completely, also sharing the compositional duties (five tracks are by E#, four by SF).

Don't let the “compositional” term fool you, though. There’s a lot of improvisation in the 57 minutes of Afiadacampos — and, for the large part, of the finely structured kind. As the Chicagoan himself puts it, the pair is “interested in fuzzing up relationships between written and improvised sounds, rejecting the free-jazz model in which heads are matched with unrelated blowing”. Not a truer word: even when the instruments are tuned according to specific ratios (as in “Earth Ecology”) a logical sense underlies the interplay, clouds of hovering harmonics fighting first, revealing splendid rainbows later. This writer made the ultimate test, abandoning the listening room to hear how the adjacent partials were received at a distance; there was more harmony in what was caught by the ears at that moment than in an archetypal duet. That peculiar synchronization is the fruit of shrewdly elicited resonant interferences, to which a reactive listener should adapt instead of remaining mouth agape, waiting for the habitual dose of Superlocrian-spiced sticky molasses and chordal clichés.

The acoustic timbres superb, the percussive aspect explored through tapping on necks and bodies, nicely coarse eBowed drones and dented strings (“Delta Delta”) and bionic rasgueados altering the values in the commonly intended aesthetic scale; each piece offers at least a couple of intriguing facets that Sharp and Fields investigate and exploit implacably. Their work convinces because the approach is thorough and resolute, not characterized by the grasshopper-like futility of sterile digital virtuosity. This might be one of the best guitar albums of 2010, worthy of being played loud and often. The house will be thankful. — Massimo Ricci,   
The Squid’s Ear



Next chapter in the Scott  Fields journey. Two string duets (guitars, theorbo) based on compositional and interpretations studies. Pretty focused and sharp, not the usual lengthy improv tapes at least. While listening to these two albums I find and booknote many passages I would like to hear again, pause and think of, enter. Scott Fields is a very aware artist, he pays a lot of attention to all parameters active in music, balances them, questions them and gives each time a proposal and a position. For my own taste and interest I even find that this composed form fits Fields the most, giving a backbone to the whole playing and clearing all the loose cuts of improv in general. The type of record I keep, file and want to get back to, slower. It draws a line to follow and makes each of his albums related to each other from inside. — Noël Akchoté,   Skug



According to Scott Fields’ website,   this recording with Elliot Sharp, Afiadacampos, came out in 2010, which on the cusp of 2012, makes me a little more than fashionably late. Apologies for my tardiness, however, I am pleased to report the music has not aged a bit. I think the first thing that stuck out to me on this recording is just how nicely recorded the steel string acoustic guitars sound.

Since they are rather indistinguishable sonically, the separation is done via left and right channel making this a nice album to listen to via the headphones. The sound swirls and coalesces in time and space, sometimes disorientingly, sometime soothingly. Typically a guitar duo, which is a favorite configuration of mine, relies on a division between melodic, rhythmic and harmonic functions, in varying combinations. Here, the duties seem split melodic/melodic, harmonic/texture, texture/melodic, basically everything but what you may expect.

The songs are reactions and cerebral conversations between the guitarists. Just to take one song at random, say, “I Love Not Green Eggs” apart, one would hear every aforementioned interaction, with sharp melodic cluster bouncing off string scrapes and defiant low register plucks. Almost classical passages sit atop randomness. This is the un-formula of each improvisation.

If there is a complaint to lodge, it would be that about half-way through the recording that the improvizations begin to blend into each other. However, just in time, the tracks “Delta Delta” and “Sun Figtree” negates that criticism as vigorous rhythms and knotty textures are effectively deployed. It all works to create a rather interesting and provocative set of acoustic explorations.

This is something I’d recommend to listeners who are adventurous,thirsty for something different, and appreciate the many sounds of the steel string acoustic guitar. Four stars. — Paul Acquaro,   
Free Jazz Blogspot



Sharp e Fields hanno diverse   cose in comune: sono due chitarristi, compositori e improvvisatori decisamente non convenzionali e hanno entrambi due cervelli “lucidi” che ben risaltano nella foto sotto al digipack nella bella confezione di questo Afiadacampos, cd prodotto nel 2010 per la eccellente Neos Jazz e seguito ideale di “Scharfefelder” uscito su Clean Feed. Armati rispettivamente di una Thomas Reg’n del 1985 e di una Collings OM-2H del 1998, i due camerati si dividono piacevolmente i compiti, gli obblighi compositivi (5 tracce sono accreditate a Elliott e 4 a Fields) e anche il canale destro e sinistro, cosa che rende particolarmente piacevole l’ascolto in cuffia del disco.

Il termine “composizione” deve essere comunque accettato con molta riserva. Afiadacampos è sostanzialmente un disco di improvvisazioni, anche se in gran parte strutturate. Come fa notare lo stesso Fields nelle note entrambi i musicisti sono “interested in fuzzing up relationships between written and improvised sounds, rejecting the free-jazz model in which heads are matched with unrelated blowing.” Quello che li differenzia è il modo a cui tendono a questi risultati: “one tends to offer large themes for metamorphication. The other often works with fragments and asynchronism.” Ad ogni modo sono riusci a combinare i loro diversi stili in maniere eccellente e molto proficua, i brani sono il frutto di ideali conversazioni cerebrali tra i due chitarristi, sotto forma di aspri cluster melodici che rimbalzano tra provocatori salti di registro e casuali passaggi classici. Questa sembra essere la non-formula di ogni loro improvvisazione, basata su una divisione tra funzioni melodiche, ritmiche ed armoniche, in combinazioni diverse con i suoni delle chitarre che turbinano e si incrociano tra loro a volte in modo calmo e rassicurante a volte lasciando l’ascoltatore disorientato.

Il disco è davvero molto interessante e soprattutto registrato in modo eccellente. Il timbro acustico è ripreso in modo superbo, cos“ come gli effetti percussivi sulle casse e i manici delle chitarre e ogni brano offre almeno un paio di sfaccettature intriganti che Sharp e Fields sanno investigare e sfruttare implacabilmente fino in fondo. Questo lavoro mi convince perché il loro approccio è completo e risoluto, non caratterizzato da futili e sterili virtuosismi. Consigliatissimi agli ascoltatori affamati di nuove idee e di nuovi approcci per la chitarra acustica. Ascoltatelo ad alto volume, sentirete la stanza riverberare. — Andrea Aguzzi,   Magazine Cultura

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