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Musician

Ken Vandermark

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For the past 20 years, Ken Vandermark has been exploring and working to expand the possibilities of improvised and composed music in North America and Europe. Since moving to Chicago from Boston in 1989, he's performed and recorded in a variety of contexts, and with many internationally renowned musicians. Past groups of significance include the NRG Ensemble, the DKV Trio, AALY, FME, the Vandermark Quartet, Spaceways Inc., School Days, Cinghiale, Witches & Devils, Steam, and Caffeine. Currently, the majority of his work as a composer and improviser has been directed toward the Vandermark 5, Powerhouse Sound, the Frame Quartet, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, Sonore, and separate duos with the percussionists Tim Daisy and Paal Nilssen-Love, the Territory Band, CINC, and Free Fall

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Article: Album Review

Fred Frith & Ikue Mori: A Mountain Doesn’t Know It’s Tall

Read "A Mountain Doesn’t Know It’s Tall" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Have you experienced a performance of John Cage's composition “4:33"? If you are not familiar, while studying Zen Buddhism, Cage wrote “four minutes, thirty-three seconds" to be performed solo or in any combination of instruments or players. The instructions were for the performers to NOT play their instruments for the allotted 273 seconds. Their 'silence' was ...

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Article: Interview

Meet BlueStem Jazz's Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella

Read "Meet BlueStem Jazz's Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Since 2016, and even through the pandemic of 2020, jny: Madison Wisconsin has hosted a steady stream of improvisational music concerts. The majority of these are thanks to the organization named after Wisconsin's native grass, BlueStem Jazz. Founded by two retired professionals and melophiles this non-profit, award-winning establishment is dedicated to promoting and hosting a wide ...

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Article: Radio

The Music Of Klaus Kugel

Read "The Music Of Klaus Kugel" reviewed by Bob Osborne


Klaus Kugel studied at the School of Jazz in Munich. Since 1989 he has attracted attention worldwide through projects with a wide variety of artists. Over the past 30 years he has played throughout Europe, the Baltic States, Canada, USA, Syria, Japan, Mexico, Russia, China, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Israel. This selection of his music focuses on ...

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Article: Album Review

Susan Alcorn Quintet: Pedernal

Read "Pedernal" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn has achieved the enviable feat of commanding her own instrumental niche in the jazz world. Much like Toots Thielemans' harmonica, Gary Versace's accordion or Béla Fleck's banjo, she seems to have a unique role all to herself, at least until her substantial talents eventually spawn a host of imitators. From her ...

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Article: Radio

Snakeoil, Mark Helias, The Doxas Brothers And More

Read "Snakeoil, Mark Helias, The Doxas Brothers And More" reviewed by Bob Osborne


A busy year for the prolific Tim Berne continues with the release of live music from his Snakeoil band and a fascinating duo with Mark Helias. There is further live music from the stellar line up of Sylvie Courvoisier, Ken Vandermark, Nate Wooley and Tom Rainey. Also a brand new album from Chet Doxas with brother ...

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Article: Album Review

Nate Wooley: Seven Storey Mountain VI

Read "Seven Storey Mountain VI" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


From 2010 onwards, composer-trumpeter Nate Wooley has explored creative music as a solo artist and through a spectrum of collaborators such as Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Mary Halvorson, Ken Vandermark, and Matthew Shipp. These projects have been offset by Wooley's Seven Storey Mountain succession of releases; Seven Storey Mountain VI is a masterwork of expressionist passion and ...

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Article: We Travel the Spaceways

The Volcanic World Of Pyroclastic Records

Read "The Volcanic World Of Pyroclastic Records" reviewed by Mark Corroto


As listeners we so often typecast musicians and music labels. Artists are pigeonholed into silos: classical, jazz, rock, blues, pop, etc.. Go into any record store (if you can find a brick & mortar one) and this segregation, a forced separation, is also evident. Even streaming services are divided in this manner. Maybe it is just ...

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Article: Radio

Ray Russell Plus New Releases From Ears&Eyes

Read "Ray Russell Plus New Releases From Ears&Eyes" reviewed by Bob Osborne


This week we feature a selection of mostly new releases including the recent one from guitar legend Ray Russell who has enjoyed two distinct careers: one as an esteemed session player and award-winning film and television composer, another as an ingenious guitar experimentalist and free-thinking collaborator. There are also some new albums from the ears&eyes label ...

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Article: Album Review

The Thing with Joe McPhee: She Knows...

Read "She Knows..." reviewed by Mark Corroto


After nearly three dozen releases over seventeen years, it was announced in 2019 that the trio The Thing would be on a hiatus from touring and recording. This garage punk jazz trio has carried the flame of Black Flag's get-in-the-van philosophy, traveling and recording with the likes of Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Otomo Yoshihide, Neneh Cherry, ...


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