- Artist: Ken Hatfield
- Format: CD
- Release Date:2/24/2004
Ken Hatfield Guitarist, Composer, Arranger Guitarist and composer Ken Hatfield's rare combination of talents makes him a truly singular artist. With his boundless imagination, formidable fingerstyle technique, and expansive musical knowledge, he has created a body of work of astonishing originality and exceptional quality. Hatfield's five CDs as a leader on the Arthur Circle Music label demonstrate his tremendous gifts as both composer and performer and attest to his consistently high level of artistry. His latest release, The Surrealist Table (out nationally 17 February 2004), showcases a program of ten original compositions performed by his highly interactive trio featuring the swinging rhythm section of bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. On 2002's Phoenix Rising, Hatfield was joined by the rhythm tandem of bassist Glawischnig and Brazilian drumming great Duduka da Fonseca, along with guest artists Claudio Roditi on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dom Salvador on piano, and Billy Drewes on tenor saxophone. Phoenix Rising generated enthusiastic radio airplay, earning it a firm presence on the national jazz charts for ten consecutive weeks. The project also received high praise from the critics, including Jim Ferguson's recognition in the January/February 2003 issue of JazzTimes: 'The set offers a representative cross section of his talents, which include writing for solo guitar. . ., a knack for Latin rhythms and moods . . ., and the ability to swing and even get downright funky. . . . Recommended for those with an affinity for the subtle and sublime.' Hatfield's compositional experience covers a wide range of styles and instrumentations. In addition to composing jazz works for his own ensemble(s), he has written chamber pieces that range from solo classical guitar to string quartet and mixed ensembles of various sizes. He has composed choral works and ballet scores, including commissioned works for Judith Jamison, The Washington Ballet Company, and the Maurice Béjart Ballet Company. And he has written scores for television and film, including Eugene Richards' award-winning documentary 'but, the day came.' ASCAP has recognized his accomplishments by presenting him with it's Composition Award for each of the past fourteen years. Arthur Circle Music has published four books of Hatfield's compositions, and in 2004 Mel Bay will publish his book 'Jazz and the Classical Guitar: Theory and Application,' which is designed to demonstrate his unique approach to playing jazz on a classical guitar. In addition to performing as a solo artist and with his ensemble(s) at such prestigious venues as The JVC Jazz Festival, The Knitting Factory, The Classic American Guitar Show, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Whitney Sculpture Court, and the North Wales International Jazz Guitar Festival, Hatfield has performed and/or recorded with Charlie Byrd, Jack McDuff, Chico Hamilton, Jimmy McGriff, Melissa Manchester, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Stephanie Mills, Linda Hopkins, Billy Daniels, Pat Benatar, Maurice Hines, Charles Aznavour, Bob Cranshaw, Grady Tate, Harold Maburn, Brian Torff, Marcus Miller, Kenny Kirkland, Dom Salvador, João Donato, Claudio Roditi, Lew Tabackin, Kenny Werner, Ben E. King, Eddie Kendricks, Marlena Shaw, Vivian Reed, Z.Z. Hill, and Toni Braxton. Hatfield began studying the guitar with John Griggs in his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia, before enrolling at the Berklee College of Music, where he joined the faculty at the age of 19. He studied counterpoint and composition with Paul Caputo in New York City, and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York. Ken plays Buscarino guitars, uses Luthier strings, and Earthworks mics. The Surrealist Table . . .chosen as one of the 20 top acoustic guitar albums to have. . .--JAZZIZ, March 2004 ". . . an empathetic session brimming with beautifully realized musical ideas and stellar playing. . . . The harmonic richness and strong melodic content of these pieces makes them perfect vehicles for Hatfield's thoughtful, intricate, and often burning improvisations. As with [Bill] Evans, Hatfield's playing is characterized by creative invention, a refined delicacy of touch, and an in-the-pocket rhythmic swing and drive. . ."--excerpt, Ron Forbes-Roberts review of The Surrealist Table in Acoustic Guitar, June 2004 "A veritable Picasso of the jazz guitar world, . . . Hatfield's depth of experience and his ardent commitment to bring the guitar into the now, make The Surrealist Table an album to devour deeply."--excerpt, Robert Silverstein review of The Surrealist Table in 20th Century Guitar Magazine, March 2004 ". . . truly one of the most exciting and purely musical jazz recordings I've heard in years."--excerpt, Chip O'Brien review of The Surrealist Table at minor7th.com "On The Surrealist Table, guitarist and leader Ken Hatfield offers not only a veritable clinic on acoustic jazz guitar, but the combo in general also provides evidence of consummate musicians taking great care in the execution of their craft. The pared-down unadulterated sound of three acoustic instruments weaving an aesthetically pleasing sonic fabric truly is an aural treat and delight to the listener. . . . The classically-trained leader has no shortage of guitar chops; he frequently demonstrates an incredible incendiary yet deft technique on his instrument. His performances, however, are not lost on mere demonstrations of technique, but rather aimed at making technical skills available for artistic expression. . . . Without a doubt, The Surrealist Table is a 'must hear' for any guitarist-or jazz afficionado, for that matter."--excerpt, Craig W. Hurst, review of The Surrealist Table at allaboutjazz.com "THE SURREALIST TABLE is a wonderfully original collection of jazz songs that is sure to enchant the jazz listening audience. . . . This is a mellow, creative, and exciting collection, and it is one not to be missed! Highly recommended for it's performances and eclectic songs."--excerpt, Lee Prosser review of The Surrealist Table at jazzreview.com "His nylon string tone is superb, warm and clear. . . . As well as the superb playing on this CD the original compositions are the best I have heard for some time."--excerpt, Ian MacGregor review of The Surrealist Table in the Jazz Guitar Society of Western Australia newsletter, February 2004 "Hatfield plays with a lyricism that belies his obviously broad technique. With songs that are sometimes romantic, and other times slightly elliptical; whether playing warm single-note lines or rich finger-picked chord passages, Hatfield's compositions and playing approach is always understated, often approaching the sublime."--excerpt, John Kelman review of The Surrealist Table at ejazznews.com "The nylon-string guitar has no more powerful advocate on the current jazz scene than Ken Hatfield, whose virtuosic fingerstyle technique is matched by an exceptional compositional gift and who succeeds better than most at stretching the boundaries of his instrument while playing and writing music that feels as friendly and naturally straight-ahead as anything by Charlie Byrd or Wes Montgomery."--excerpt, Rick Anderson review of The Surrealist Table at allmusic.com "The Surrealist Table has it all: great compositions, great solos, and great communication. Furthermore, the addition of Hatfield's classical guitar to the jazz realm marks a significant contribution."--excerpt, Joshua Musselwhite review of The Surrealist Table in Jazz Improv, vol. 4/4.
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