Jazz Notes: The Duo Project ‘Endless Field’ Celebrates Its Genre-Resistant Debut Album
By Denin Koch, Contributing Writer, June 13, 2017
Endless Field gives new meaning to the term “genre-resistant music.” It is at once ambient music, jazz music, pop music, and yet to call it any one of these things alone would fail to capture the breadth of this group. Guitarist Jesse Lewis and bassist Ike Sturm have crafted a musical dimension all their own. It is simple and complex, accessible and challenging, anthemic and introverted. In fact, perhaps Endless Field is best described by its name—the duo (and their guests) conjures images of an impossible vastness against the backdrop of a starry twilight. Listening to its self-titled debut album is a 45-minute journey to another world.
While the songs that comprise Endless Field are mixed and recorded like soundscapes, the album avoids monotony through careful craftsmanship and composition. Variation from piece to piece is achieved through clever use of counterpoint, improvisation, rhythm and instrumentation. Endless Field is a beautiful example of the synthesis of the best of many musical styles. The opener, “Unending Season,” combines the lush textures of Bon Iver with the harmonic sensibilities of Brad Mehldau while “Supermoon” marries the rhythmic pulse of Coldplay with Donny McCaslin’s jazz stylings. The album features brilliant work by an impressive roster of guest artists, including McCaslin and Ingrid Jensen. There is a wide array of emotion on display here, too, from awestruck wonder on “Unending Season” to cries of despair on “Run Through Woods” and even a quiet hope on “Dinosaur Dreams.”
Endless Field is proof that the lines between the various genres of music continue to blur—and that wondrous things are coming out of it. With Endless Field, Lewis and Sturm have created a music that is quite fresh and unique. While only time will tell if they have created a new direction for modern art music, their world is certainly worth visiting.
Highlights: “Unending Season,” “Dinosaur Dreams,” “Run Through Woods”
Editor’s Note: Endless Field celebrates its album’s release at Subculture, 6/23.
Cover: Endless Field: (l. to r.) Jesse Lewis and Ike Sturm; photo: Christopher Georgia.