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Kent Kessler

Jazz bassist Kent Kessler is best known for his part in numerous Chicago bands, usually in line-ups with reedsman Ken Vandermark. He first began appearing on recordings in the early '90s as a member of Hal Russell's NRG Ensemble. The band continued after Russell's death in 1992 with the addition of clarinetist and saxophonist Ken Vandermark. Kessler and Vandermark went on to play together in a number of bands that have revitalized Chicago's jazz scene, putting it back on the map of current avant-garde and free jazz. The Vandermark 5, DKV Trio and Steelwool Trio are just some of the many groups that feature Kent Kessler's wide and gritty sound

An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4: Chicago vs. NYC

Label: Astral Spirits
Released: 2020
Track listing: (CD1) Chicago: The Hanukah—Xmas March Of Truth For 12 Days Of Jingling Bells With Spirits In Chicago; The Heavenly Home Bashing Of The Bells; Noel Omega—Change Has Come For The Three Kings Who Lit The Tiny Candles In Chicago; Did You Hear They Found Light In Darkness Looking For Chestnuts? (CD2) N.Y.C.: The Hanukah—Xmas March Of Truth For 12 Days Of Jingling Bells With Spirits in NYC; Noel Omega—Change Has Come For The Three Kings Who Lit The Tiny Candles In NYC.

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Is it jazz? Perhaps not in the narrowest sense, but each of the releases below arguably retains enough of a foothold in the tradition to justify that description. Maybe we've finally reached the point where the question no longer matters. In any case, what these artists have in common is a commitment to venturing outward in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado & Chris Corsano: No Place to Fall

Read "No Place to Fall" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Did you know that besides his talents as a saxophonist and composer, Rodrigo Amado is also a professional photographer? His camera captures an instant in time and preserves it for eternity. Now compare his photographs' frozen moments against the seemingly perpetual motion that is this free jazz set with drummer Chris Corsano. This juxtaposition of static ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Attic: Summer Bummer

Read "Summer Bummer" reviewed by Troy Dostert

No, the title of the latest release from The Attic, a free-improvisational trio comprised of Rodrigo Amado, Gonçalo Almeida and Onno Govaert, has nothing to do with the track by Lana Del Rey. It is instead taken from the name of the Summer Bummer Festival, at which this superb group performed in Antwerp, Belgium in 2018. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Boneshaker: Fake Music

Read "Fake Music" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The trio of saxophonist Mars Williams, bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love have taken the fitting name Boneshaker--a word coined to describe the early velocipede, what we today the bicycle. The moniker was appropriate because the bike's wheels (before the use of rubber tires) were made of wood, making the ride extremely uncomfortable. So why ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

DKV & Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time

Read "The Fire Each Time" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Do you participate in the 21st century phenomena called 'binge-watching'? With the advent of Netflix and downloadable television, consumers can view an entire television series in one sitting. Be it eight episodes of Russian Doll or sixty hours of The Wire, it's all available, and the possibilities to feast are tempting. Where a filmmaker might have ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Mette Rasmussen and new releases

Read "Mette Rasmussen and new releases" reviewed by Bob Osborne

This week we focus on Mette Rasmussen, new releases from Endangered Blood and Master Oogway and a selection of recent and archive cuts. A more avant-garde/free selection than usual, but still a compelling playlist! Playlist Endangered Blood “Passion Fruit Birthday Cake" from Don't Freak Out (Skirl Records) 00:00 Master Oogway “Eddapliks Pt.1 Kan ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018: Portuguese showcases

Read "European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018: Portuguese showcases" reviewed by Henning Bolte

Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB); Livraria Ler Devagar European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018 Lisbon, Portugal September 13-15, 2018 European Jazz Conference Lisbon 2018: Portuguese showcases This year's annual European Jazz Conference, a convention organized by the European Jazz Network, took place at Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB) in the Portuguese capital ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado: A History Of Nothing

Read "A History Of Nothing" reviewed by John Sharpe

In A History Of Nothing, Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado helms a stunning lesson in group interchange and shifting dynamics on five seat-of-the-pants excursions. Captured in a studio in the midst of a European tour, the album reunites the reedman with the starry crew responsible for This Is Our Language (NotTwo, 2015), namely veteran multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, ...


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