Jazz Release: Ken Field - Transmitter (Neuma Records / March 25, 2021)

Jazz Release:
Ken Field - Transmitter
(Neuma Records - March 25, 2021)

Ken Field, saxophones
All pieces composed by Ken Field (Conical Music/BMI)

Ken Field takes the saxophone on an imaginative journey through electronics and studio enhancement to create a unique collection of tracks on his latest release.

Ken Field - Transmitter

Saxophonist and composer Ken Field is more often associated with ensembles like Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. This release sees him alone with his sax and a mic, and producer Erdem Helvacioglu to add the dimension of studio magic. 

Field and Helvacioglu build layers of sax parts and looped patterns that, according to the liner notes, "are all trans-something: the titles bridge oceans, light, stasis, and gravity".

The tracks cover a range of moods, modes and explorations. Transoceanic is a jazz solo that goes meandering in different directions, the electronic enhancements adding layers to a contrapuntal kind of structure. He experiments with articulations and sounds to build complexity.

Translucent, in contrast, is playful and abstract, albeit with moody undertones. What seems like a simple method - all tracks being composed and performed via live looping - yields such intriguing interpretations and possibilities. 

An Improv Session:

From the ethereal, spacey sound of Transducer, Transgressive its buzzy, the anxious layers of sound each adding to the tension of the piece.

Solo instrumental releases can be self-indulgent: here, Field's sense of pure invention draws a multi-dimensional stream of sounds in many colours. Definitely worth a listen.

Field's a regular composer for Sesame Street, and a co-organizer of the  HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands, among other things. Erdem Helvacioglu is a Brooklyn-based Turkish electronic musician and composer.

1. Transoceanic 7:42
2. Transcendental 7:20
3. Translucent 5:30
4. Transducer 9:41
5. Transgressive 7:39
6. Transparent 8:12

From the CD: