As a free jazz player in the '60s and '70s, composer and guitarist Scott Fields discovered that playing completely free was a dead end. Without a foundation, Fields and his collaborators often had a hard time coming up with ideas and structuring their solos. Then, Fields discovered Stephen Dembski, a Wisconsin music professor who had developed a "post-serial organizational system." "It occurred to me," Fields recalls, "that the evolution of classical tonal organization also occurred in jazz on a compressed scale… The free-jazz people were influenced by post-tonal stuff and pure sound. Now I'm obsessed by composition and structure, so I find Dembski's musical ideas most helpful." In general the music here is unique yet surprisingly accessible, often featuring long-lined solos. Fields improvises very well, sometimes displaying classical and flamenco influences, and his collaborators are seasoned veterans of the most exciting groups in the modern jazz scene. A feature article on Scott Fields and the Dembski system appeared in the March 1997 issue of Jazziz Magazine.
CD-1007(1) STEPHEN DEMBSKI'S SONOTROPISM with SCOTT FIELDS ENSEMBLE "Sonotropism," a long composition by Stephen Dembski, and three brief collective works performed by Marilyn Crispell, piano; Scott Fields, electric guitar; Larry Ochs, sopranino and tenor saxophones; and Matt Turner, cello. Total time: 62:36. [DDD]