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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

Made To Break: Provoke

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Each of these three extended pieces is dedicated to great twentieth century innovators who specialize in distinct disciplines. Led by Chicago outside jazz luminary Ken Vandermark, the quartet derives inspiration from avant-garde composer John Cage, architect, author Buckminster Fuller and philosopher, media theorist Marshall McLuhan. And as expected, the compositions are not thin or one-dimensional by design, yet from a semi-structured and improvisational standpoint, offer much in the way of excitement and entertainment. Vandermark also imparts some of the funk grooves encountered with his Spaceways Trio band, and Christof Kurzmann's electronics inject a curiously interesting ingredient into the mix.

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

Made To Break: Provoke

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The evolution of Ken Vandermark continues with his new quartet Made To Break, an electric/acoustic ensemble that bridges his musical strengths of composition, organization, and improvisation. Founded in 2011, the saxophonist drew together bassist Devin Hoff (The Resonance Ensemble), drummer Tim Daisy (Vandermark 5, The Frame Quartet, Sound In Action Trio, Bridge 61), and a new contributor, Christof Kurzmann (electronics).In the early 2000s, Vandermark's interest in non-jazz elements like funk and reggae developed with his Spaceways Inc. trio and electronics with Frame Quartet and Powerhouse Sound, the latter featured Scandinavian noise artist Lasse Marhaug. His improvising, both solo ...

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 ...



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