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Ken Thomson

Ken Thomson is a staple of New York City’s contemporary music and jazz communities, and is widely regarded for his ability to blend a rich variety of influences and styles into his own musical language while maintaining a voice unmistakably his own. Embracing the combination of complexity in harmony, rhythm, and form while adding a punk-rock aesthetic, Thomson has carved out a unique corner in today’s multifaceted musical world. As a performer-composer bridging jazz and contemporary music, Thomson has released two albums with his group Slow/Fast. The most recent of these, Settle, was praised by the New York Times for its “intricate long-form compositions,” and garnered a five-star review in All About Jazz

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast: Settle

Read "Settle" reviewed by Dave Wayne

There are ways to get to know people really well, really quickly. Many of these fall under the general category: “challenge them, somehow." For a certain time of my life this meant: “go camping with them." Really. If you go camping with a group of people, you will find out a lot about them in a ...

NEWS: MUSIC INDUSTRY

Bang on a Can All-Stars Announce Ken Thomson as New Clarinetist

Bang on a Can All-Stars Announce Ken Thomson as New Clarinetist

Bang on a Can, New York’s innovative and energetic champion of new music, officially announced the new clarinetist for its “All-Star” lineup. The Bang on a Can All-Stars have become a singular vehicle for visionary composition over the course of the last 20 years, and with the addition of Ken Thomson will continue to set the ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Gutbucket: Cascades and Collisions

Read "Gutbucket: Cascades and Collisions" reviewed by Gordon Marshall

Over its 12-year career, Gutbucket has resituated its various musical parts like the pieces of a Rubik's cube. The elements of that cube, the sonic strains, have remained similar--an amalgam of fuzz rock, jumpy jazz, post-serial classicism--but its panoply of shifting color has been redeployed in unique ways on each of the Brooklyn-based quartet's five CDs, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast: It Would Be Easier If

Read "It Would Be Easier If" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Il primo brano “Kleine Helmet," coglie di sorpresa perché da una front line con chitarra elettrica, sax/clarinetto basso e tromba, era difficile aspettarsi un sorta di pastorale del terzo millennio, un'atmosfera cameristica screziata da impercettibili irregolarità ritmiche - grande il lavoro di Fred Kennedy - che lascia l'ascoltatore con un senso di pace sospesa e sognante, ma con il ...

NEWS: INTERVIEW

Ken Thomson Turns His Reed Work to Chamber Jazz

Ken Thomson Turns His Reed Work to Chamber Jazz

Improvisation is a big, if not the biggest, pillar of jazz music. For many, it's what gives the music its unique identity, separating it from pop and the rest. Musicians wax poetic about the experience of playing that way, and I've written extensively about it through the years, particularly applauding those groups that practice free playing ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast: It Would Be Easier If

Read "It Would Be Easier If" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Ken Thomson, New York based saxophonist and composer, describes the music of Slow/Fast as “21st Century Third Stream." It's an apposite description, for it certainly brings together elements of jazz and classical music, but it underplays the third element of Slow/Fast's sound--the influence of rock. All four members of Slow/Fast, heard on the band's debut, It ...

NEWS: EVENT

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast at Issue Project Room, February 25

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast at Issue Project Room, February 25

KEN THOMSON - SAXOPHONIST/CLARINETIST/COMPOSER WITH GUTBUCKET, BANG ON A CAN, SIGNAL, AND MORE UNVEILS NEW GROUP “KEN THOMSON and SLOW/FAST” ISSUE PROJECT ROOM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2009, 8PM
232 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 100% new music written throughout 2008 -- New project blends heavily composed long-form elements with improvisation, presenting a dynamic “All-Star” outer-borough band: Ken Thomson - ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast Debut at the Stone

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast Debut at the Stone

Ken Thomson, co-leader of Gutbucket, performer in Signal, World/Inferno Friendship Society, Fire In July, and acclaimed emerging composer commissioned by Bang On A Can and the American Composers Orchestra, unveils a new project called Slow/Fast. The Music: Slow/Fast aims to connect the heavily-composed work Thomson has written for new music ensembles Bang on a Can All-Stars, American ...

NEWS: EVENT

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast Debut at the Stone Noveber 1

Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast Debut at the Stone Noveber 1

Ken Thompson - Saxophonist/composer with Gutbucket,
Bang On A Can, Signal, and more ---

Unviels new group:
Ken Thompson and Slow/Fast

Debut at The Stone
Saturday, November 1st, 10pm
Avenue C & 2nd Street, NYC

100% new music written throughout 2008 ...