Guitarist, composer, improviser Scott Fields has been performing and
recording around the globe over the last three decades. A native of
Chicago, his earliest improvisations were influenced by the AACM. Fields
has been pretty well obsessed with structures for improvisation for some
time and has relied heavily on the serial harmonic system developed by
composer Stephen Dembski.
Although as a leader he performs with a number of line-ups, he calls them
all The Scott Fields Ensemble, largely in homage to the Art Ensemble of
Chicago. He has on occasion been commissioned to write music. A piece for
contrabass and percussion for the Wisconsin Alliance of Composers, was
premiered April 7, 2000 in Madison where he now resides.
Fields Ensemble: this that
with Peggy Lee, Dylan van der Schyff
CAT. #: ALP024
Like virtually all of Fields' music, the compositions on this that blur the
distinction between what is improvised and what is composed. Currently the
trend in much improvised music is to eliminate all thought of composition,
and in fact that is what cellist Lee and percussionist van der Schyff
expected when Fields proposed this project. But Fields rejects this
movement, grumbling accusations under his breath of "simple convenience
trumping architectural purity" and "economic realities superceding
philosophical vigor." More openly he explains that "More than 30 years ago
I performed in a trio that performed nothing but spontaneous music. Since
then I've really lost interest in performing free impov. Although I do
still occasionally perform purely spontaneous music as a sideman and in
'first meetings,' all of my recorded work relies on controlled variation of
structure, pitch groupings, texture, and other musical characteristics as
frameworks for improvisation." On this that, the basic materials for
improvisation range from bare sketches to extended notated sections, all of
which draw on Stephen Dembski's post-serial pitch organization system,
which Fields has used for the past eight years.
"When he does solo, Fields is inventive and accomplished and his
instrument enjoys a wonderful sense of depth in the recording.
Most of all, the compositions fit the group--Fields is a thoughtful
and probing composer, again often bring to mind the late Eric
Dolphy in his choice of wide intervals and corduroy rhythms."
- Carl Baugher, Cadence Magazine
"Fields' music will appeal to those who feel--as this critic does--that
Eric Dolphy's 'Out to Lunch' was one of the seminal recordings of
the '60s. That disc also sounds like a textbook for Fields and his
quintet. Running with Scissors made me want to stick a microscope
to my ear to catch all the nuances played by Fields and his group."
- Steve Goldstein, Midwest Jazz Magazine