Fred Anderson / DKV Trio
""Fred Anderson & DKV Trio cannot disappoint any free-jazz fan; with its lyrical beauty, passion, and warmth, it will convert many a jazz enthusiast who thinks "free" means "squalling".""
"The albums starts “Faster Then It Would Be” featuring a free blowing Vandermark on tenor saxophone, quickly joined by a bowing Kessler and a more subtle, colouring Drake; working their way into a funky groove initiated by Vandermark, promptly supported by Drake and Kessler. From here, the trio really joins as a unit and weaves threads of free and groove into a polyrhythmic web propelling Drake into a contagious solo. Following Drake’s solo, toe-tapping continues when Vandermark adds a catchy melody that develops into the climax of the piece. To clear satisfaction of the audience and this listener, well-earned applause. “20th Century Myth” finds Hamid Drake solo, searching for other worlds on his drum kit. He is a real adventurer, taking us all around the world musically. Free phrases intertwine with tribal rhythm and world music. After 5 minutes, he settles and is joined by a gentle Vandermark, and supported by a deep bowing Kessler. The track continues into a pulsating rhythm initiated by Vandermark and collectively develops and fades into a deeply wailing free blues. “Uncontrolled Writer” finds Vandermark on clarinet squealing through high registers, overtones and harmonics before settling with gentle cymbals and plucked strings. Vandermark quickly switches back to saxophone and is propelled into a groove by Drake’s brushwork that is – all too – briefly interrupted for a nice pizzicato solo on double bass by Kessler. The trio joins forces and finishes off the set with a catchy climax, answered with loud cheers and applause by the audience. This is a really tight record by masters of free music that have been all over the scene for the past 25 years. Highly recommended. You should own the record, if only for the second track. - Martin Sekelsky (Free Jazz Blog) "
DKV Trio & Joe Morris
"First studio meeting of Joe Morris and the DKV Trio (Hamid Drake/percussion, Kent Kessler/bass & Ken Vandermark/reeds). "The music on this recording began with the most basic materials: sound, silence, motion, interval, duration and emotion. We started to play without any words, written material or agreed structure and within a couple of minutes we knew it would work. Our agenda seemed to be that we would musically talk with each other. We told each other what we know. We played to make something different, to create another experience for whomever listens. It remains to personal interpretation, to be described by the people who listen." —Joe Morris"
DKV Trio + Gustafsson / Nilssen-Love / Pupillo
"DKV is one of the tightest free-improvisation units you can imagine due to the use of written material on which they improvise extensively. It’s especially Hamid Drake’s rhythmic pulse – ranging from funky elegant grooves to free wildfire – that provides the fundamentals of this group. It’s almost a shock when “This Building is on Fire”, the first track, abruptly ends and Gustafsson, Pupillo and Nilssen-Love step into the arena, as if they were burying DKV under their wall of noise. If you listen closely however, you realize that both trios complement each other excellently. Nilssen-Love shows his wild and expressive side but Drake is a much too experienced and great a drummer to drown in this torrent. He sticks to his style, and the result is a highly energetic combination that also grooves like hell. - Martin Schray and Colin Green "Free Jazz Blog""
The Fire Each Time
DKV Trio + Joe McPhee
"Not Two Records presents, "The Fire Each Time," a 6 CD boxset of recordings from the DKV Trio with Joe McPhee as a guest, and dedicated to James Baldwin. The music was recorded during the quartet's tour in Europe which took place in November of 2017, and at shows in Chicago and Milwaukee from December of that year. These performances are historic in many respects: the DKV Trio (with Hamid Drake [drums], Kent Kessler [bass], and Ken Vandermark [reeds]) has only recorded with other musicians on three occasions in its two decade career (with Joe Morris on "Deep Telling" [Okka Disk, 1999; with Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love and Massimo Pupillo on "Schl8hof" [Trost, 2013], and with The Thing ["Collider," Not Two, 2016]); also, this is the first time all four musicians have worked together as a band; and the material documented over the six concerts included in the collection features performances of Joe McPhee's compositions (like "Nation Time") as well as completely improvised music generated by the participants. "