martedì 14 agosto 2012
Review of Afiadacampos by Elliott Sharp and Scott Fields, Neos Jazz 2010
Sharp and Fields have in common different things: they are two decidedly un-conventional guitarists, composers and improvisators and they have both two "shiny" brains that you can see in the nice photo under the digipack in the beautiful package of this Afiadacampos, cd produced in 2010 for the excellent Neos Jazz and ideal continuation of "Scharfefelder" produced by Clean Feed. Armed respectively of a 1985 Thomas Reg'n and a 1998 Collings OM-2H, the two comrades pleasantly divide assignments, compositions (5 tracks are accredited to Elliott and 4 to Fields) and also the right and left channel, thing that makes particulary pleasant listening it with headphones.
The term "composition" must be approved however with a lot of reserve. Afiadacampos is substantially a record about improvisations, even if largely structured. As Fields wrote in the notes of the cd both musicians are "interested in fuzzing up relationships between written and improvised sounds, rejecting the free-jazz model in which heads macaws matched with unrelated blowing." What differentiates them is how they extend to these results: "one tends to offer large themes for metamorphication. The other often works with fragments and asynchronism." Any way they succeeded in combining their different styles in excellent and very profitable ways, the passages are fruits of ideal cerebral conversations among the two guitarists, in the form of sharp melodic clusters that bounce between musical register’s jumps and random classical passages. This seems to be the not-formula of their improvisations, based on a division among melodic, rhythmics and harmonics functions expressed in different combinations with the sounds of the guitars that whirl and that crossed themselves sometimes in calm and reassuring way sometimes leaving the listener disorientated.
The record is indeed very interesting and above all recorded in excellent way. The acoustic timbre is recorded in superb way as the percussive effects on the necks and on the body of the guitars and every passage offers at least a pair of scheming facets that Sharp and Fields know how to investigate and to implacably exploit. This job convinces me because their approach is complete and resolved, not characterized by futile and sterile virtuosities. Recomended to the hungry listeners of new ideas and new approaches for the acoustic guitar. Listen to it at high volume, you will feel the room reverberate.