Single Field (1993 – 2003)

‘So what is this then? Is this jazz then or what…..?’

Ian Staples - Mill 1990sJon Seagroatt - Mill 1990s

Ian Staples and I started working on a new set of material after the release of the first B So glObal album in 1993. The electronica and ambient sound world of that album seemed too difficult to gig at the time, given the unwieldy equipment we’d need to haul around, and the uncertainty of sync’ing equipment reliably pre-MIDI.

So a pared-down woodwind and bass guitar set seemed a nicely manageable option for live work. Bride Descending the Staircase, a track from the first B So glObal album, became part of this new ‘lean-instrumentation’ set. Two more of the tracks, Fraction & There’s Nothing But Moles In The Deep Blue Sea (both much augmented), later became part of the 1996 B So glObal album, The World Is Covered in Windows.

We recorded duo versions of the pieces during two studio sessions in August 1994. In September 2019, I transferred the original two-track masters from DAT to DAW, and re-mixed them. We’ve called the resulting album, The Air Is Never Still.

The Air Is Never Still is available on Bandcamp:

Ian and I later added our old Red Square drummer, Roger Telford, to the equation, and named the resulting trio, Single Field. For live work we often expanded Single Field to a quartet by regularly co-opting Roger’s saxophonist son, Jake Telford, into the line-up. As with the duo material, I transferred the masters from DAT to DAW inn September 2019.

The Single Field tracks were recorded at various times and in various locations, but the quartet recordings with Jake Telford (marked in the Bandcamp playlist below with asterisks), were all made as part of a test-of-concept album for Plastic Head’s Chillum imprint. Sadly, Chillum folded before we could complete the project.

The eponymously named Single Field album is also available on Bandcamp: