If you’ve never heard a free-style jazz duet between a balalaika and a dobro, and you have a desire to do so, this CD should appeal to you. Actually, this is much more than a novelty album, as Feigin strums his guitar-like balalaika and classical guitar through seven jazz duets with Elliot Sharp (dobro), Davey Williams (electric guitar), Craig Hultgren (cello), LaDonna Smith (violin), and Eugene Chadbourne (banjo and guitar). The star billing is entirely appropriate, as each track is a stunning display of string improvisation. There is lots of variety as not only do the instruments and players alternate, but so do the free improvisations. Surprisingly accessible and at times even soothing, there is plenty of stridency, too. The duel with Hultgren is a particular highlight, as the violinist dances gingerly, without missing a step. Feigin (no relation to Leo Feigin, the producer) is strong throughout and a perfect partner. — Steve Loewy Continue reading
Haptikon is a set of very-electric-guitar pieces accompanied by computer. Haptikon may be heard as an outgrowth of E#’s Tectonics project. Where Tectonics was a form of psychedelic noise jungle techno played on both saxophones and guitars interacting electronically with computerized grooves and processing, with Haptikon, the focus is on a more melodic and lyrical approach. E# pays homage to improvised traditions in jazz, blues, rock, Indian music, and even country & western! The results are cinematic in scope and give the feeling of a full band. Sharp’s virtuosity on guitar and originality as a composer are in full evidence on Haptikon. Continue reading
Top 10 for 2005… An indefinable droning mishmash of sounds that feels like a young universe struggling to swirl itself into a semblance of order. ― Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz Continue reading
Scott Fields (born September 30, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois), is a guitarist, composer and band leader. He is best known for his attempts to blend music that is composed and music that is written and for his modular pieces (48 Motives and 96 Gestures). He works primarily in avant-garde jazz, experimental music, and New Music. Fields was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He started as a self-taught rock musician but soon was influenced by the musicians of the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians, which was active in the Hyde Park neighborhood in which he grew up. Later he studied classical guitar, jazz guitar, music composition and music theory. In 1970 Fields co-founded the power avant-jazz trio Life Rhythms. When the group disbanded two years later he played sporadically, but soon all but quit music until 1989. Since then he has performed and composed actively. His ensembles and partnerships have included such musicians as Marilyn Crispell, Hamid Drake, John Hollenbeck, Joseph Jarman, Myra Melford, Jeff Parker, and Elliott Sharp.
Five acoustic guitar duos that flirt with flamenco forms, five electric duos that seem to come from Fripp & Eno territory. “Bludget” is squarely in the soundworld of No Pussyfooting, though with “Cobblescrabble” a more nuanced and detailed language is in play. The level of empathy is extraordinarily high, further testimony to Cline’s no-borders eclecticism.–The Wire Continue reading
Breaking News is a project led by Italian guitarist Simone Massaron playing with a superb band: Daniele Cavallanti and Tiziano Tononi (from the critically acclaimed Italian Instabile Orchestra and Nexus), Steve Piccolo (Lounge Lizards) and the great New York guitarist Elliott Sharp. It’s raw and bluesy stuff, with jazz and improvised moments held together mainly by the saxophone and some experimental and free movements. There’s also a furious version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Run Through The Jungle” featuring some exciting electric lap steel work by Elliott Sharp. Continue reading