by Fieldwork


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For the third CD (the first with this lineup) by the collective creative improvising trio Fieldwork, the stakes have been raised, the music intensified, and the individualism of the performers more sharply focused. Half of the spontaneous compositions are credited to drummer Tyshawn Sorey, and the other half to pianist Vijay Iyer or alto saxophonist Steve Lehman. But Iyer's vision, drive, and passion are the factors that galvanize the root strata of this extraordinarily dense original music. A certain tension in their collective persona is rarely released, as if a thrashing alligator is dangerously held by its tail. Lehman's style is very close to Iyer's main foil on other recordings, Rudresh Mahanthappa. He adopts an approach that utilizes multiple tangent reference points with stream-of-consciousness linear and jagged-edge ideas. No matter whether using a funkier edge on "Balanced," the destructive penchant of "Pivot Point," or a monstrous Godzilla blues theme during "Pivot Point Redux," the expression derived by Lehman and Iyer speaks of a common point of view. The variations are not so subtle, as "Of" sports diffuse, brittle, fractured, and less concrete nuances; "Ghost Time" is a bit two-fisted from Iyer's anticipatory, anxious perspective; and the dark, difficult, and elusive "After Meaning" is difficult, complicated, and not easy to pin down. The group does have its more late-night foggy-bottom moments, as on "Bend," where the group eventually has to bust out and smash pumpkins. The even darker "Cycle I" and "Cycle II" are deep, moody, and spooky REM-sleep pieces. Sorey is impressive in his refusal to play straight time and blur bar lines, as is Iyer's desire, and establishes a pace that is far removed from finger snapping. There's a profound sense of trust, shared values, and -- above all -- the art of communication. A music not for everyone in the jazz world, but those who are bold and will listen closely hear a phenomenal concept brought fully to fruition by these incredible, challenging, forward-thinking musicians.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/22/2008
Label: Pi Recordings
UPC: 0808713002621
catalogNumber: 26
Rank: 81952

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