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Fields Ensemble, Scott: Beckett (Clean Feed)


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product information:

UPC: 5609063000696

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 069
Squidco Product Code: 7988

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardstock foldover


Scott Fields-electric guitar

John Hollenbeck-percussion

Scott Roller-cello

Matthias Schubert-tenor saxophone

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track listing:

1. Breath

2. Play

3. Come and Go

4. What Where

5. Rockaby
Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed
Improvised Music
April 2007
Quartet Recordings
Squidco's Clean Feed $12.00 Sale

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Here is a new item from the variable ensemble of a self-made man who was a spotter for drug dealers and a thief of hubcaps in his teens, but somehow managed to graduate with degrees in economics and journalism and who has gone on to become one of the most interesting guitarists and composers in the current international scene: Scott Fields. This recording - and what a recording it is! - is the first of a series of settings of Samuel Beckett's short plays, the ensemble now cast as a quartet with cellist Scott Roller, German tenor saxophonist Matthias Schubert and drummer John Hollenbeck. Particularly evident on this CD is Fields' obsession with structures for improvisation, not simply compositions with spaces in which to improvise solos, like in mainstream jazz, but structured improvisation, or, if you prefer, improvisation as a form of composition.

To provide journalists with a name to for his approach to sound organization, Fields has used "post-free jazz" and "exploratory music." Jazz is certainly present, but not in the traditional way the label implies. Unsatisfied with the harmonic systems used in this field, he started to deal almost exclusively with the system proposed by classical contemporary composer Stephen Dembski, especially when writing for large ensembles. On "Beckett" he uses a variety of tonal systems. In some places - such as Play - he relies on Dembski's system, in others - such as "Come and Go" - he gently incorporates traditional jazz changes, and in some - such as "What Where" - he uses a mixture of the two. In some ways, this is the most "jazzy" project he has recorded in many years, and it's certainly the one nearest to the traditional coordinates of this genre. Knowing this, we understand that Hollenbeck is the right choice to deal with pulse: the guy can really swing! And we also understand that Schubert, undoubtedly a jazz sax player, is in comfortable context to do what he knows best."-Clean Feed

Artist Biographies:

"John Hollenbeck is a composer of music uncategorizable beyond the fact of being always identifiably his. A conceptualist able to translate the traditions of jazz and new music into a fresh, eclectic, forward-looking language of his own invention, intellectually rewarding yet ever accessibly vibrant. A drummer and percussionist possessed of a playful versatility and a virtuosic wit. Most of all, a musical thinker - whether putting pen to paper or conjuring spontaneous sound - allergic to repetition, forever seeking to surprise himself and his audiences. [...]

Hollenbeck received degrees in percussion and jazz composition from the Eastman School of Music before moving to New York City in the early 1990s. He was profoundly shaped by the mentorship of two hugely influential artists: trombonist/arranger/composer Bob Brookmeyer and composer/choreographer Meredith Monk. His relationship with Brookmeyer reached back to the age of 14, when he attended the SUNY Binghamton Summer Jazz Workshop, and continued at Eastman, through NEA-funded composition study, and finally on the bandstand with Brookmeyer's New Art Orchestra and in the studio with Brookmeyer and trumpet great Kenny Wheeler. For Monk, Hollenbeck composed and performed the percussion scores for five of her works: "Magic Frequencies," "Mercy," "The Impermanence Project," "Songs of Ascension" and "On Behalf of Nature."

Hollenbeck's awards and honors include four Grammy nominations; the 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the 2010 ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship; winning the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Contest in 1995 and 2002; Meet the Composer's Grants in 1995 and 2001; and a Rising Star Arranger win in the 2012 and 2013 DownBeat Critics' Polls as well as in 2011 for the JHLE as Rising Star Big Band. John was a professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin from 2005-2016 and in 2015 joined the faculty of McGill University's Schulich School of Music."

-John Hollenbeck Website (

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