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 Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Timeless Again" CD/LP/Track Review Timeless Again
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 11, 2016
Read "Open Window / Flying Colors" CD/LP/Track Review Open Window / Flying Colors
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "What Doesn’t Kill You" CD/LP/Track Review What Doesn’t Kill You
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Carolina" CD/LP/Track Review Carolina
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Colosseum Live" CD/LP/Track Review Colosseum Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 10, 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!

Buy it!