School Days: Crossing Division
Program-wise there are the usual suspects of dedicatory pieces including numbers penned in honor of the likes of Mal Waldron (“Broad Daylight”), Teddy Charles (“Get On The Plane”) and Harry Carney (“Passenger”). Vandermark dispenses with any trivialities and commences straight to blow on Bishop’s “Bookworm,” a tune that is anything but egghead in conception. Spooling out under a loose rhythmic groove Bishop blows a rounded snaking solo turn after his friend’s surly run on tenor. “Counteraction,” dedicated to Takeshi Kitano, is a wash of dissonant elements opening with a caustic conversation between Vandermark and Håker-Flaten’s acro bass. Form ensues around a blustery theme before the saxophonist takes control and pulls the ripcord on a filibustering tenor statement. Vandermark’s husky bass clarinet rears its serpentine head on “Passenger” hitting a succession of throaty velveteen notes in honor of Ellingtonian baritonist Harry Carney. “Rosmosis” and “Keep Your Head,” both from the compositional mind of Roswell Rudd are the only non-originals on the date. On each tune Bishop shows the influence of the composer with some strategically placed growls generated from the tubular guts of his horn.
Vandermark is always getting saddled with lambastes from the critical intelligentsia targeting his credibility as an improviser and a composer. Disc’s like this one illustrate in bold relief how immaterial such critiques are. Vandermark and his associates are sincere and dedicated in their craft. Calling them on the carpet for whatever manufactured opprobrium is the flavor of the month ultimately only ends up slighting those making the accusations. Meanwhile the rest of us are content to settle in and dig the sounds for what they are- truly swinging, communally created music, steeped in tradition, but derived from four fiercely liberated sources bent on having their voices be heard.
Okkadisk on the web: http://www.okkadisk.com
Track Listing: Bookworm/ Counteraction/ Broad Daylight/ Passenger/ Rosmosis/ Get On the Plane/ Smoke Rings/ Keep Your Heart Right .
Personnel: Ken Vandermark- reeds; Jeb Bishop- trombone; Ingebrigt H
Record Label: Okka Disk
Style: Modern Jazz