With the 16th official release by The Vandermark 5, composer/director/leader Ken Vandermark invites two guest musicians to share the stage. Norwegian pianist Håvard Wiik and Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo are, however, no strangers to projects by the reedman and company. That familiarity yields this solid June, 2009 live date at Chicago's Green Mill.Broo, an excellent inside/out player, can be heard in the European equivalent to the V5--Atomic--and in The Angles. Likewise, Wiik is a member of Atomic and ...read more
In their early days, the Vandermark 5 gave founder and reed man Ken Vandermark, the opportunity to workshop and road test fresh ideas. His writing skills have now been honed to such an extent that he is one of the most consistently inventive small group composers around, and the V5 has become one of the great working bands on the current scene. For its eighteenth, outing the quintet is expanded to a seven-piece Special Edition, with the addition of trumpeter ...read more
Vandermark 5 and AtomicThe VortexLondonSeptember 16, 2010It was difficult to avoid a frisson of pleasurable anticipation at the sight of the handwritten sign proclaiming Totally sold out" taped onto the door of north London's Vortex Jazz Club. A feeling compounded by the presence of the BBC's mobile recording unit parked outside. This was going to be a good night. And why shouldn't it be with a double header by the Vandermark 5 and Atomic, two ...read more
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and bandleader Ken Vandermark has led his flagship ensemble, the Vandermark 5, through a decade's worth of personnel changes. Despite the band's rotating roster, the ensemble's sound has remained remarkably consistent. A powerhouse unit capable of serene delicacy as well as unfettered intensity, the quintet has won a legion of fans the world over for its uncompromising vision of contemporary creative improvised music.
The current line-up has been active for three years now, documented on two ...read more
The Vandermark 5's Annular Gift is its most accessible and swinging recording to date. Recorded live (one reason) in Krakow, Poland, the quintet has come together (reason two) as a true aggregate of players.
This is their fifteenth official release (there have been some CD-Rs and compilation discs) and third for the Polish label Not Two. The others were the sprawling and ultimately satisfying 12-CD collection of live dates at Alchemia in 2004 (since Alchemia, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm replaced trombonist ...read more
Broken Music is the appropriately titled debut of Fire Room, a collaborative international effort featuring wildly prolific Chicago-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Ken Vandermark. This unconventional trio features Norwegians Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Lasse Marhaug (electronics), inceptive members of Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound. Exploring similar territory, Fire Room ventures further into the extremes of brutal cacophony and disquieting stillness.
Where Powerhouse Sound's debut, Oslo / Chicago: Breaks (Atavistic, 2007) focused on primal rhythms swathed in a scrim of invasive electronic ...read more
Beat Reader is the tenth studio album of all-original material from Chicago's esteemed Vandermark 5. Leading his most resilient and diverse ensemble into its second decade, composer/multi-instrumentalist Ken Vandermark has accomplished a remarkable achievement in a time when regular touring line-ups have vanished.Vandermark's advanced writing reveals a facility for composing interlocking, cellular structures that balance unique arrangements with ample room for individual expression. Stylistically diverse but instantly recognizable, Vandermark's eclectic tunes always bear the unmistakable mark of his ...read more
Vandermark 5 Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, Canada February 10, 2007
It's an unorthodox club where jazz is rarely--if ever--heard. And the show was promoted by a local team who are more in touch with the punk/indie scene. But sometimes things come together in the most unexpected ways. The Vandermark 5's first Ottawa appearance at Zaphod Bebblebrox--a mainly standing room-only club in the heart of the city's nightclub district--turned out to be not just a success ...read more