"The Ex is still growing, maturing, learning and blowing most other bands off the stage. They have a devastating sense of rhythm and a far-reaching lyrical intelligence." "Their most urgent, powerful and exciting release to date. Staggeringly beautiful." "This time they pull up their wall of sound out of pieces of rock, folk and jazz... The Ex got the blues."
Ken Vandermark / Klaus Kugel / Mark Tokar
"Can there be such a thing as straight-ahead free? If so, this disk’s five as-it-happens improvisations would be it. Each achieves something remarkable, a seldom-realized free jazz ideal: the more these players achieve something remarkable, the more these players sacrifice themselves in support of one another, the more our attention is drawn to each’s individual merits. Teasing his solos to climax on the album’s two longest performances, Vandermark shows he knows the difference between repetition and repetitiveness. This might be some of his best playing on records; it’s definitely among his lustiest. Tokar’s “extended” bass technique is astonishing, and worthy of special notice is the way he matches tones with Vandermark when the latter explores the lower reaches of his horn. Kugel is a model drummer, supplying both motion and combustion without so much as implying a steady beat. Only one modifier will do in further categorizing this free jazz: classic. - Francis Davis"
Noise Of Our Time
"It was only during Ken Vandermark's residency at the Jazz club The Stone in January 2016 that Vandermark found himself in the same vicinity as Nate Wooley, Sylvie Courvoisier and Tom Rainey. A year later they went into the studio with nine compositions – three each by Courvoisier, Vandermark and Wooley. These four musicians have well-documented, distinct personalities which, in this context, results in performances full of surprises, rich contrasts and shared responsibilities. The music sounds thoughtful, but never over-wrought. They play by intuition, yet retain a vivid complexity. Their composing is transparent and unclichéd; their improvising provided with a remarkable coherence and openness. And perhaps it is exactly this – a fresh collective unity that keeps their respective personalities and idiosyncrasies intact – that brings them success in this bold and collaborative performance. Art needs to pique and renew your interest, take you on inspiring and surprising journeys and sometimes even confront your own biases. Creating, not reviving as a way to evolve and to keep going forward in all directions. credits "