159

Free Music Ensemble: Cuts

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Free Music Ensemble: Cuts Ken Vandermark is not one to limit himself to easy, comfortable situations. As successful as the Vandermark 5 is, it presents only one side to his composing and playing. With the Free Music Ensemble, a cooperative trio with bassist Nate McBride and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, listeners, whether on their second disc Cuts or live at Tonic mid September, can hear a more visceral, looser Vandermark, happy to be swept up by the improvisational thrusts of his fellow musicians.

The band began in 2001, only releasing one limited edition CD in 2002 and then following that up with 2004's Underground. The disc that preceded Cuts laid the groundwork for the group's mission: Vandermark compositions (of a very different ilk than his Vandermark 5 pieces) fleshed out to have long improvised segments and segues. The leaderless nature of the bandname represents how effectively any of the three can grasp the music, manipulate it for themselves, and then throw the results back at the others for similar processes.

And while Underground was a fine record full of compelling moments, Cuts advances the concept further and introduces more suite-like thinking. Instead of single tunes, themes are strung together, creating tapestries of more varied texture. At Tonic last month, with an album's worth of unrecorded material, this approach was done even more expertly.

Since this is a saxophone trio, a format that has a long history in jazz, the musical scholarship of Vandermark is better utilized. And since he had long standing relationship with the "rhythm section, particularly Nilssen-Love on two amazing duo records, the two volumes of Dual Pleasure, the shared responsibility is a joyous rather than a weighty one. Because the group tours with some regularity and plays a fine, raucous concert when they do, further albums should continue the group's artistic rise. For now, Cuts is a fascinating snapshot of a hypercreative band in the midst of discovering themselves and what can be done when new thinking is applied to established forms.

Visit Ken Vandermark on the web.

Track Listing: Other Side Up/Boadas; Necessary?/Reset/Slip; Static (A Hundred Yards) Static; Broken (Sentence) Broken; Heavy Light.

Personnel: Ken Vandermark: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums; Nate McBride: bass

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Okka Disk | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Speechless CD/LP/Track Review Speechless
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Holiday On Fire CD/LP/Track Review Holiday On Fire
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Calvins Toboggan CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Silent Light CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 27, 2017
Read PausaLive CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "(Five) Stories Untold" CD/LP/Track Review (Five) Stories Untold
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "What Do I Miss" CD/LP/Track Review What Do I Miss
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "Heritage" CD/LP/Track Review Heritage
by James Nadal
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Otterville" CD/LP/Track Review Otterville
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!