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Music Review

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Artist: Ken Field
Label: Neuma Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 02 April 2021

Ken Field releases an experimental jazz album, Transmitter, via Neuma Records. A saxophone orchestra is not something you hear every day and for that aspect alone this LP is worth seeking out...

I suppose, in part, we have Covid to thank for Ken Field's latest creation. Because live playing was off the cards, Field couldn't work with Birdsongs of the Mesozoic and the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble or any of his other projects. So he fell back on another creative arm of his craft. He's long been instrumental in creating solo soundtracks for film and dance so Transmitter wasn't too much of a style change for him.

The six tracks on the album are all trans-something: the titles bridge oceans, light, stasis, and gravity. The looped and layered saxophone parts shift and morph in post-acoustic ways. In this era of virtual ensembles by necessity, this saxophone choir could exist in no other form. From jaunty phrases to fluttering drones and angular polyphonies, the saxophone lines make for an ever-shifting dawn chorus.

What he delivers here is an interesting soundscape that is part relaxing futuristic music and part trippy jazz. It's well structured and beautifully produced. If you're a lover of the saxophone then you'll find this deeply rewarding.


Nick Smithson

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