360

Ken Vandermark: Collected Fiction (Improvised Bass & Reed Duos) & Fire Room: Broken Music

By

Sign in to view read count








Ken Vandermark

Collected Fiction (Improvised Bass & Reed Duos)

Okkadisk

2008


Fire Room

Broken Music

Atavistic

2008


Saxophonist Ken Vandermark has made a career of placing himself in diverse company, whether as a leader or as part of a shared effort. These two releases continue the trend, finding him in partnership with collaborators old and new. However, he brings new life to long-fostered relationships, a new depth and concentration to his playing adding to the allure of these more intimate settings.

The two volumes of Collected Fiction find Vandermark in the company of several bassists, including longtime partners such as Kent Kessler and Nate McBride and newer foils like Norway's Ingebrigt Haker Flaten or Holland's Wilbert de Joode. With the latter, we get the expectant "Ellipse 4," De Joode rumbling underneath a raw-and-damp haze of sustained clarinet tones. On the opposite end of the spectrum, this pairing also drops the jumpy and pointillistic "Torus 4," engaging in stealthily controlled but fully realized counterpoint, this time with Vandermark on tenor.

As might be expected, Vandermark is even more assured in the presence of old friends such as Kessler. Their playing on "Contour 1" is spellbinding, Vandermark's clarinet lines high and pointed, with Kessler providing a cushion of melodic complexity beneath. With McBride, the only collaborator besides De Joode on the second volume (Kessler and Flaten share the first), the relationship seems to be just as free, the two creating intricate webs around each other in the harrowing "Spline" with Vandermark on baritone. Every meeting is adventurous, demonstrating remarkable maturity.

Fire Room's debut sees Vandermark alongside longtime associates Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Lasse Marhaug (electronics) and the Norwegians spur him on to an awareness of space not as evident on the duo set. This does not necessarily preclude volume and intensity, as the distorted title track makes quite plain. There is a cutup quality to Marhaug's contributions, as with his solo projects and in direct contrast to recent Territory Band material, the two other musicians responding with taste and vigor. However, the more sublimated Territory Band aesthetic is also present. Just listen to the title track's second part, the album's closer, to hear the trio in a much more reflective mode; drums and electronics enter in a brooding fashion that Vandermark's New Thing squawks and trills do nothing to dispel.

Both albums offer music whose aesthetic changes from moment to moment, but it's all performed with conviction and with an underlying sense of discovery, a benchmark of all Vandermark's projects.

Tracks and Personnel



Collected Fiction (Improvised Bass & Reed Duos)

Tracks: Volume 1: Contour I; Torus III; Prop I; Contour II; Ellipse III; Spiral; Curve I; Torus I; Extension; Torque; Curve II Volume 2: Spline; Arc; Ellipse I; Torus II; Ellipse II; Ellipse IV; Torus IV; Contour III; Prop II; Curve III; Torus IV.

Personnel: Ken Vandermark: bass clarinet, clarinet, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Kent Kessler: bass; Ingebrigt Haker Flaten: bass; Nate McBride: bass; Wilbert De Joode: bass.



Broken Music

Tracks: Broken Music; Slag; When Water Burns Air; Hand Lettered; Dashboard Fire; Line of Lead; Broken Music 2.

Personnel: Ken Vandermark: tenor and baritone saxophones; Lasse Marhaug: electronics; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book Multiple Reviews Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Piano & More: Rich Halley 5, Casey Golden Trio, Jeff Denson Quartet, Fred Hersch Trio, Peter Erskine Trio, & Sirius Quartet" Multiple Reviews Piano & More: Rich Halley 5, Casey Golden Trio, Jeff...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad" Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Roots In The Green Mountains" Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon" Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's Dateless Night" Multiple Reviews Paul Kelly: Seven Sonnets & A Song and Death's...
by Doug Collette
Published: October 16, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.