Tobin Summerfield Pares Down His Sound | Bleader

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tobin Summerfield Pares Down His Sound

Posted By on 11.04.09 at 01:22 PM

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Tobin Summerfield
  • Tobin Summerfield
If you know the name Tobin Summerfield, that’s likely due to the sprawling large-band works the local guitarist and bassist has made in the past few years under the name Never Enough Hope—he assembles upwards of 20 musicians from the jazz and rock worlds to bring to life his minimalist epics. But on Thursday night at the Hideout Summerfield celebrates the digital release of a much more modest piece of work, a solo outing called Working Up to Full Reflection (Contraphonic).

He’s crafted a kind of improvised, meditative bedroom record, yet despite the spontaneity that went into its creation, it’s anything but free improv; Summerfield breathes rock. On “The Letter C” you can’t miss the overdubbed electric guitar lines—several layers of keening long tones (he doesn't use an E-bow, though it sort of sounds that way) that generate a muted melancholia. For “Love at Its Best” he laid down all the tracks using a wonky cassette-tape recorder, which introduced distortion and tonal wobbliness to rustic parts for guitar, pump organ, and double bass. On other pieces he played along with and/or sampled bits of an improvised track he’d already committed to tape; Summerfield tells me he’ll be employing the same additive methodology at the Hideout, but since nothing on the album is really composed, it’s anyone’s guess what it will sound like live.

Today’s playlist:

Katherine Young, Further Secret Origins (Porter)
Eliane Radigue, Tryptych (Important)
Ignacio Piñeiro & His Septeto Nacional, Ignacio Piñeiro & His Septeto Nacional (Tumbao)
Margareth Kammerer, Ruby Ruby Ruby: The Shadow of Your Smile (Zarek)
Henry Threadgill Zooid, This Brings Us to Volume 1 (Pi)

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