Scott Fields Ensemble

This That

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First of all, This That is an unlikely release for the San Diego-based avant-garde label Accretions because Scott Fields has no ties with the Trummerflora Collective. That being said, label director Marcos Fernandes took a wise decision to release this very strong CD. For this studio recording, the Scott Fields Ensemble was a trio, cellist Peggy Lee and drummer Dylan van der Schyff (both from Vancouver, Canada) following the guitarist in a series of structured improvisations. This match proves to be particularly successful. Lee and Schyff know each other by heart, their chemistry has reached a commanding level. Moreover, Fields' loose compositions and penned-down segments are stylistically closely related to the projects they were involved with during the '90s, from Talking Pictures to François Houle and Tony Wilson's groups. So This That ends up sounding like a cousin of the Vancouver avant-garde jazz scene. Some of these tracks follow specific contrasts, textures, or structures, while others have written heads. But the compositional work usually remains seamless (except for the obvious tutti lines). Fields is in very good shape. His dislocated melodies find a sympathetic soul in Lee's lyrical cello playing in "That Isn't This." In "This Isn't That," he throws in an impressive solo. This That may not have a star-studded lineup like Five Frozen Eggs (with Marilyn Crispell and Hamid Drake), but it sure delivers the goods -- and it gives a chance for those who have never heard the free improv unit of Lee and Schyff to do so. Strongly recommended.

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