It is this pragmatic attitude that Vandermark has come to realize is crucial to be successful, even if others don't. "I definitely see the business side of things being motivated by the music, he says. "And I think that there are people who have criticized me and have felt I have been ambitious and motivated to be successful in this way. ...I think they've misunderstood from my standpoint the motivation and the way that I've tried to work.
The way that Vandermark workswhether it be leading the Vandermark 5 and Free Music Ensemble, being part of collective groups like Sonore and DKV, participating in an international large electro- acoustical ensemble like Territory Band or as a 'sideman'is consistent conceptually, even if the result can seem very far ranging. "There is some kind of thread to the different things I'm doing, he explains. "Many times, people see, o.k., there's this range of projects and I'll be asked 'how can you do that?' or be questioned like, 'how can [he] be serious about all these different things, they're too disparate.'.. I think that from my standpoint the things are connected because all the work is one general sweep in a somewhat similar direction in finding something new to say and needing - a personal needto try and explore the things that are going to inform that path.
· Steelwool TrioInternational Front (Okkadisk, 1994)
· AALY Trio/Ken VandermarkHidden in the Stomach (Silkheart, 1998)
· Ken Vandermark's Joe Harriott Project - Straight Lines (Atavistic, 1999)
· Vandermark 5Elements of Style/Exercises in Surprise (Atavistic, 2005)
· Vandermark 5Alchemia (Not Two, 2005)
· Free Music EnsembleCuts (Okkadisk, 2005)
Ken Vandermark: That Was Now