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CD Feature/ Tom James Scott: "School & Rivers"

img  Tobias

In contradistinction to the epic extravagance and holistic execution of countless other free-folk finger-pickers, the classically trained musician Tom James Scott focusses on the crystalline delicacy of his guitar and its capacities for resonant pointillistic fragments.

Scott begins with arpeggiated spreads whose internal tunings and nuances set the tone for the evening. These are framed by stretches of silence and the ambiguous tug between the two suggests sensitive vistas of space, which are later filled out by more monumental arches of guitar. Crucial to its character, Scott's deftness of touch harnesses such flitting passages into controlled - and thus more effective - puissance. As the piece moves from cliff to valley, the guitar is joined by a poignant piano refrain, and together they find firm grounding in the heavy, rich tones of David Aird's tuba.

From the fresh, roving nature of this piece, "Two Moons Behind The Horizon Sun" slows the pace even more, slinking as it does into a mechanical, somewhat melancholic dirge where Scott alters his fingering to allow accidentals and reduced technique to dictate the arc of the music. A single motif reasserts itself on the next piece, which Scott repeats with varied emphasis so that in it, with its many reverberations, all of which are active and iridescent, there is a feeling of stability and change, and ample room for both contemplation and dreaming.

For the remaining three compositions, Scott opts for basic progressions that, in their extreme simplicity and his apparent commitment to them, divulge his mastery of execution. Both tread and retread over single, vital impulses that, like images in which only a single, fortuitous detail appears, somehow speak of wide-ranging places and times.

By Max Schaefer

Homepage: Tom James Scott
Homepage: Bo'Weavil

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