Lytton / Vandermark / Wachsmann
"On record, the trio tends to blur: reeds and strings rub against Lytton's seemingly almost accidental drumming until he switches to sheets of metal and the triangle again shifts. But at Tonic on June 12, it was easier to discern them as three pieces (it's the sort of band where visuals help). Even on baritone sax, Vandermark found a place in the upper registers of his bandmates. But whether heard as a triad or something more singular, Cinc builds sparse yet protean and quite nice sound spaces. "
Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet
"In the album liners, Boston-based jazz pianist Pandelis Karayorgis cites this unit as a dream band, featuring prominent Chicagoans, saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly. Never one to run short on creative sparks, the pianist is a sly arranger, and these works are asymmetrically synched within organization and improvisation. Moreover, several of these pieces are influenced by Thelonious Monk, primarily from an unconventional rhythmic standpoint amid odd-metered expressionism."
"The music sometimes recalls the magisterial terror of Last Exit, at other times the haunted, structured expanses of Naked City's longform compositions. Whichever way they turn though, Offonoff are a group in touch with their inner ur."
The Rempis Percussion Quartet
"Interestingly, as each member’s path diverges further, the quartet tours that take place once every year or so provide the backdrop by which to measure those tectonic shifts. The music on Cochonnerie demonstrates exactly that type of shift, without moving an inch. A band that hasn’t played a gig for over a year convenes in Chicago to get reacquainted over two nights at the start of a two-week North American tour in the fall of 2015. But the idea of having a warm up period flies out the window as these four dive in fearlessly as ever. Whatever the difference in the sonic output may be on this record compared to previous outings, their fundamental commitment towards reconciling individual ideas into a coherent and compelling sound is exactly what continues to fuel the laser-beam focus and relentless energy on display here. "
"One more important record to the art of the reed & bass duets, now with Vandermark on reeds, and some of today's greatest modern jazz bassists: Ken Kessler, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Nate McBride and Wilbert De Joode. Not only because of the variety of reeds used, and the different styles of the bass players, but also the approach differs greatly on all these relatively short improvisations."
Territory Band-6 with Fred Anderson
"Collide is Ken Vandermark's sixth release for his transatlantic small big band (or is it a large small group?) of American jazz meets European improvisers. Unlike the prior sessions, this disc is comprised of a single composition, divided into five parts."
The DKV Thing Trio
"Recorded live at Krakow Jazz Autumn in 2014, Collider unites two of the hardest hitting contemporary outfits in an off the wall summit."
Color of Memory
The Vandermark 5
"It's a study in elegance, spatial inquiry, and textural restraint. The longer these band members play together, the closer to the bone Vandermark's writing gets for them, and the more they open the music from the inside out. The Color of Memory is the finest and most adventurous set yet from one of the finest bands to emerge from North America in the last 20 years."
"Abstract yes, but melodic too, with careful restraint precision on the first and third piece, with leads indeed to a strange kind of non-figurative clarity, and with more nervous and agitated work on the two other pieces."
"Solo compositions and improvisations performed by Chicago based percussionist and composer Tim Daisy Selected instruments recorded in various combinations including: drums/marimba/ Califones/metal percussion/bass xylophone/transistor radios/bells/chains/sticks/malletts/brushes Recorded live, without overdubs :)"
Forbes Graham / Dave Rempis / Pandelis Karayorgis / Luther Gray
"Forbes Graham, trumpet Dave Rempis, alto sax Pandelis Karayorgis, piano Luther Gray, drums"
Brad Barrett / Joe Morris / Tyshawn Sorey
"The music in this recording is completely improvised, although it is not without specific methodology. These works reframe the concept of composition through frameworks that direct musical activity, and explore a participatory compositional process that unfolds through moment-to-moment interaction."
Cut a Caper
Ig Henneman Sextet
"Cut a Caper by Ig Henneman is an album brilliantly composed, performed by a stellar ensemble and executed with staggering passion. Adventurous, captivating, demanding and rewarding."
"The very nature of the group's musical process ensures that every FME performance is a unique one. And yes, their stylistic variety and constructive openness is vast enough to be seemingly without limit. Sounds free enough, doesn't it?"
Dancing With Penguins
Joe Morris & Greg Oxoby
"Oxoby has never sounded better, his bass sound round, supple, and articulate; and Morris’ signature saxophone-like guitar playing, beautifully articulated and breathlessly paced, is heard here to great effect. A fine document of an important period of time for Calgary’s improvising community. (Notes by Jonathon Ronler) "