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Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville 2014

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Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada May 15-19, 2014 Victoriaville, Quebec is a town of some 40,000 two hours east of Montreal, a regional center known for the sober pursuits of dairy and wood production. For the past three decades (beginning in 1983), the town has also hosted one of the world's most renowned festivals of adventurous music, the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, or Victo, as it is popularly known. The festival is the brainchild of artistic director Michel Levasseur, who chose the town as the site of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Vandermark Resonance Ensemble: Head Above Water / Feet Out Of The Fire

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Listening to the music Ken Vandermark writes for large ensembles do we dare compare him to Duke Ellington? Both band leaders and composers wrote and arranged music to be played by a select troupe of musicians and both suffered the fate of surfing the knife edge of innovation. Ellington always seemed to be delivering scores with the ink still drying to last minute rehearsals. Same for Vandermark who has the added burden of an international cast from Chicago to Stockholm and Gdansk. Head Above Water / Feet Out Of The Fire is a testament to the composer's tenacious ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Vandermark's TOPOLOGY Nonet w/Joe McPhee: Impressions Of Po Music

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Food scientists know that human taste buds favor three items, sweet, salty and fat. Although abundant today, our prehistoric ancestors scavenged for these scarce commodities. A musical arranger, like a great chef, can serve up delectable music by skillfully combining the three tastes.Our chef, the musical impresario Ken Vandermark, organized this nonet tribute to Joe McPhee and his influential music by inviting the great man to record with eight Chicago musicians. All would probably name McPhee as their personal demigod. Vandermark presents McPhee's music and his arrangements for the TOPOLOGY Nonet. The draw here is Vandermark's talent for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Lytton & Nate Wooley + Ikue Mori & Ken Vandermark: The Nows

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Ultra-progressive jazz and avant-garde expressionism are trumpeter Nate Wooley's toy stores, so to speak. He's well-established in the modern era's radical music scene and teams here with venerable Euro-jazz percussionist Paul Lytton, equating to a vivid snapshot of the duo's 2011 US tour. Brilliant minds think alike, and the proof resides in the multifarious modes of delivery conjured up by these artists. It's not only about stirring improvisational encounters, because the musicians also sculpture a seemingly endless array of sounds, employing multiphonics and tonal diversions amid moments of anguish, jocularity, and brazen exchanges. Culled from the duo's performance ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Lytton / Nate Wooley / Ikue Mori / Ken Vandermark: The Nows

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Consider the great duos of the cinema, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson and so on-what each successful duo has in common, is a chemistry, an attraction or spark between them. Such is the case with the musical duo of percussionist Paul Lytton and trumpeter Nate Wooley.What each of those film stars also has, is individual talent capable of starring in a lead role sans partner. Likewise, Lytton and Wooley (his junior by some 27 years) are masters of their own instruments. Lytton was a force behind the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Vandermark Predella Group: Strade d'Acqua / Roads of Water

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Prolific composer/saxophonist Ken Vandermark's first soundtrack Project, Strade d'Acqua / Roads of Water, brings together his multiple interests and sound designs, creating a work for the film by Augusto Contento. It can exists as a standalone album, separate from the film, without commentary.Recorded in 2008, Vandermark's Predella Group reunites trombonist Jeb Bishop--an original member of the Vandermark 5--with the leader, as well as his replacement, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. For this work, Vandermark arranges the sound in a sparse manner, perhaps to leave plenty of space for the visuals.Relying heavily on Vandermark's new favorite drummer Tim Daisy--who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Vandermark / Barry Guy / Mark Sanders: Fox Fire

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The audience has been removed from these live concerts, recorded in 2008 in Birmingham and Leeds, featuring American reedman Ken Vandermark alongside British drummer Mark Sanders and bassist Barry Guy. Despite the constraints of a short, five-day UK tour of only six concerts, there's much to savor in the resulting two discs, for connoisseurs of creative music.

Granted, there is no such thing as a “perfect" freely improvised recording. Listening to a recording is different from attending the recording event, studio or live--the result of mastering and engineering being further impacted by the playback system at hand, whether ...



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