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ALBUM REVIEWS

The Frame Quartet: 35mm

Read "35mm" reviewed by Troy Collins

Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader Ken Vandermark is widely known for paying homage to artists of various disciplines, regularly including dedications in his song titles to those who have inspired him. On 35mm, the studio debut of his newest ensemble, The Frame Quartet, Vandermark reveals his longstanding debt to cinema, not only in name, but in approach. Filmmaking is an intensely collaborative medium, and The Frame Quartet embraces this concept implicitly; Vandermark is the sole writer, yet each ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Vandermark / Kessler / McBride / Joode / Flaten: Collected Fiction

Read "Collected Fiction" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The beauty and the challenge of undertaking a project like Collected Fiction, a collection of bass and reed improvised duos, is to make an engaging and thoughtful experience for both players and listeners. These 22-tracks do just that with a polymorphic approach that renews itself with each track.The organizer here is Chicagoan Ken Vandermark, playing with three very familiar bassists and one somewhat new acquaintant. Vandermark's connection with Kent Kessler goes way back to their work with Hal ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Engines: The Engines

Read "The Engines" reviewed by Andrey Henkin

Let's try to get through this CD review without using the “V" word. Instead, let the eponymous debut of The Engines serve as a discussion starter on the idea of a larger Chicago aesthetic. The quartet--Jeb Bishop (trombone), Dave Rempis (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones), Nate McBride (basses, both acoustic and electric) and Tim Daisy (drums)--is drawn from the remarkably vibrant Windy City jazz and improvised music scene, as documented most assiduously by Okkadisk, headquartered just up the coast of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Territory Band: Collide

Read "Collide" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Collide is Ken Vandermark's sixth release for his transatlantic small big band (or is it a large small group?) of American jazz meets European improvisers. Unlike the prior sessions, this disc is comprised of a single composition, divided into five parts.

The Territory Band has, at its core, players who execute Vandermark's writing with a satisfying proportion of improvised and ensemble playing that has as its contemporaries bands like the Brötzmann Tentet, the ICP Orchestra, and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Engines: The Engines

Read "The Engines" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Chicago is indeed a city of big shoulders. Great architecture, huge pizza, and musicians with heavyweight sound. Think of Buddy Guy, Gene Ammons, Lester Bowie, and Fred Anderson to name just a few. Pretension has never been an ingredient of their music.

When four of Chicago's sons got together to form a band called The Engines, you get the idea that power will not be lacking. The members of the quartet all have been associates of Ken Vandermark's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe McPhee / Peter Br: Guts

Read "Guts" reviewed by Lyn Horton

When people die for what they believe in, their actions speak louder than words. At least for a moment. Repeat performances of their deaths are impossible. So it is up to those who survive them to revitalize the symbolism of their deaths. Creative people do this well in the form of a tribute, for they are lending their lives to the realm where they have invested their own spirits already.

The quartet of reedmen Joe McPhee and Peter ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Peter Br

Read "Peter  Br" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The milestones of the 66 year old German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann's career are a useful device by which to review his prolific and passionate music making. From early experiments with Alexander von Schlippenbach and the Globe Unity Orchestra, he gained jazz infamy with an octet recording called Machine Gun (FMP, 1968). Aptly named, the unrelenting surge of three saxophones (Brötzmann, Evan Parker and Willem Breuker) over piano, double drummers and double bassists, announced a new energy in European free music--one ...


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