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Jazz Articles


Barry Guy / Ken Vandermark: Occasional Poems

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For British bassist Barry Guy the concert that produced this fine double disc package occurred at the end of a four day intensive residency in Krakow culminating in the premier of an ambitious new work by his Blue Shroud Band. While for Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark, the event was the final episode in two months on the road. But whether relief or exhaustion were the dominant feelings, neither resulted in any lowering of standards or resting on laurels. Occasional Poems ...


Ken Vandermark Resonance Ensemble: Double Arc

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For the most part, we only follow the trajectory of an artist's career many years after his work has been completed. Looking back at the career of Miles Davis, you can now play connect-the-dots from bebop to Gil Evans to modal jazz to electric Miles. Certainly, back in the day, many a listener knew not where Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970) came from. We are fortunate today to have access to so much more music and an artist like saxophonist Ken ...


Fred Lonberg-Holm/Ken Vandermark: Resistance

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When you consider all the musicians that have recorded duos with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, it sounds kind of like the SPAM Monty Python sketch comedy piece. “Yes, I'll have some Fred Lonberg-Holm and Ken Vandermark." What, you don't want Fred Lonberg-Holm and Axel Dörner, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Mats Gustafsson, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Peter Brotzmann, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Paal Nilssen-Love, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Frode Gjerstad or Fred Lonberg-Holm and Nick Stephans, or Fred Lonberg-Holm and David Stackenäs, ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...

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