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Made to Break
"The quartet sounds energetic, buzzing with adrenaline and excitement…playing expansive and powerful interpretations of old compositions in entirely different combinations than those explored before (Eyal Hareuveni, The Free Jazz Collective)"
Paal Nilssen-Love & Frode Gjerstad
"Some of the songs are more searching, contemplative and slow moving. Others more passionate, intense and fast. The duo setting provides a peeled off and intimate feeling throughout the album and I can clearly hear both Frode and Paal being fully focused on the task at hand. On some songs Frode is in the lead, and on others Paal provides texture and a scene on which Frode can move freely in, out and across, and on some songs they both travel together tightly interwoven. No holds barred, full throttle and quick twists and turns. One thing is for certain; Frode Gjerstad and Paal Nilssen-Love are two of the most bright shining stars on the free jazz heaven today."
"In the summer of 2013, guitarist Joe Morris decided to thoroughly acquaint himself with the vibrant Chicago creative music scene. Although he’d worked with plenty of Chicago musicians over the years, including regular collaborations with percussionist Hamid Drake and reedist Ken Vandermark, it had been many years since Morris had spent any significant time in the city. So he undertook a series of concerts, organized by Vandermark, which placed him in a number of different contexts alongside many of his Chicago-based counterparts, including this string-heavy date at Elastic Arts. From the start, this ad-hoc quartet took advantage of an unusual instrumentation to produce some austere and starkly beautiful music. Each member contributes quickly interweaving lines that occasionally burst to the fore, but tend more often to wrap themselves into one other, hiding in plain sight amongst the unified whole. Cloaking their individual timbres into a sinewy mass, the result is a tight and fascinating exploration of contrapuntal improvisation."
"This live recording finds the collaborative trio of Rempis, Johnston, and Ochs hard at work in the middle of their first full-on North American tour in May of 2015. Documenting a concert from the landmark venue Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY, the trio follows up on their previous release, 2014’s Spectral, having taken their unique approach to spontaneous composition to the next level through the crucible that only touring can provide. On this new recording they tackle two pieces that are significantly more extended than the ones documented on their earlier release, while still employing the same core strategy that made that recording so compelling; an ability to look far down the road in order to anticipate the larger structures that can emerge from even the slightest gesture. The trio moves with patience, and capitalizes on space, waiting for the appropriate moments to strike, always at the service of the ensemble motion. "
""The Jesus Lizard's Duane Denison and Mule's Jim Kimball enlisted reed player Ken Vandermark in their venture. With this album, the three musicians have created a unique hybrid that stands as one of the most successful attempts at bringing rock and jazz together." –All Music"
New American Songbooks Vol. 2
Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruán Ortiz, Matthew Shipp
"Last year’s release found three distinctive voices—Mary Halvorson, Ron Miles, and Greg Saunier—working together to arrange works from mass media. Their collaboration, only a few days in total, culminated in a recording that felt equal parts wild and warm; intimate and revolutionary. Volume 2 goes in another direction. While the warmth and intimacy is still very present, thanks in large part to the expert sound at Ryan Streber’s Oktaven Studios, the experience is one-on-one, as the listener is the recipient of four mini-recitals from four of the most profound interpreters on the piano today: Kris Davis, Matt Mitchell, Aruán Ortiz, and Matthew Shipp. "
New Brazilian Funk
"For the Roskilde project (now to become a steady band) he put together a Norwegian/Brazilian combination that proved to be especially potent: Bass-player Felipe Zenicola is a new figure on the scene of improvised music and is mostly known for his work with Chinese Cookie Poets. Guitarist Kiko Dinucci has been active the last years as a leader and songwriter of the group Metá Metá and has received noticeable recognition in Brazil and Europe. Then there’s percussionist Paulinho Bicolor, a rare figure in the Brazilian music scene, who adds a special ingredient to the stew: the Cuíca – which is actually a friction drum, but mastered by Bicolor in a completely idiosyncratic way. Paulinho is also a frequent guest with Nilssen-Love’s 15-piece band, Large Unit. Rounding off the line-up Nilssen-Love included what is his longest musical parter: Norwegian saxophone player Frode Gjerstad, a legend of Norwegian free improvised music who asked Nilssen-Love to play with him at the age of 16, a collaboration that now has lasted 28 years. The pair usually works in duo and trio constellations, so it’s a rare treat to hear such a solid musical pair as the gravitational center of this project. The “New Brazilian Funk” title can almost be read as tongue-in-cheek, as this really is not just free jazz on top of tropical grooves - this is the sound of five dedicated musicians coming together to make a completely new type of music. The Roskilde gig went down so well that not only is it being released on CD, it also became the birth of a regular group. "
"Out this weekend! A new record on Nate Wooley's label, Pleasure of The Text Records from the power trio, New Monuments. Preorder CD and Digital now from Catalytic Sound."
New Horse For the White House
"The Territory Band 5's triple-CD A New Horse for the White House (october 2005) featured Fredrik Ljungkvist, Dave Rempis, Axel Doerner, Johannes Bauer, Per-Ake Holmlander, Jim Baker, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Lasse Marhaug, Kent Kessler, Paul Lytton, Paal Nilssen-Love, and offered four lengthy postmodernist games: Fall With A Vengence, Untitled Fiction, Corrosion, Cards. (The third CD includes live versions of the same pieces)."
""Thanks Marker, you’ve just delivered a classic." ***** Gustav Lindquist, The Free Jazz Collective, March 6, 2019 Their third album, New Industries, is a double CD comprised of studio and live versions of a dozen new compositions by Vandermark. The studio album was recorded in Chicago at Experimental Sound Studio on July 15th, 2018, directly after Marker's tour of the Midwest; the live album is a document made of their July 12th performance at Milwaukee's Sugar Maple. The combination of both recordings provides listeners an opportunity to hear the compositional strategies of the music truly come into play. Not only is the music improvised within individual pieces, the spontaneous narrative between each is altered by the way that these compositions are sequenced and layered."
New Japanese Noise
"For the 2018 edition of the Roskilde festival in Denmark Paal Nilssen-Love was asked to put together two special projects. Nilssen-Love chose to put together two groups: The first was a Brazil-based band. The second was a Japan-oriented band, bringing together three giants of Japanese free jazz and noise music for the first time: Saxophone player Akira Sakata is the biggest legend of them all — since the 60s Sakata has left a permanent mark on Japanese music. With more than 200 recording credits to his name Sakata first made his mark with the Yosuke Yamashita Trio, and then over the years has gone on to numerous projects. Noise artist Kohei Gomi is best known for his Pain Jerk project, which since its foundation in the early 1990s perfectly encapsulates the classic Japanese noise sound, but also exhibiting a clearly personal style that has evolved over the years. Toshiji Mikawa has as the leader of his Incapacitants project since the early 80s shown an absolutely uncompromising dedicating the craft of pure noise music. Paralell to this he has been a member of the equally seminal Hijokaidan band. Very few artists in the field of noise music enjoys the kind of respect Mikawa does. To make a link to the other Roskilde project Nilssen-Love also added Brazilian guitarist Kiko Dinucci to the line-up, which of course shows the connection between the two bands, but also is a clear proofs of Nilssen-Love’s method of combining expressions and crossing musicial borders to kick the music forward. And with musicians from three continents it also shows that noise music is a global language. Play loud. "
New Works for Solo Percussion
"Inspired by a wide range of influences from both the worlds of sound and visual art, Tim has organized a series of new pieces which continue to investigate the balance between composed and improvised sound making, and how these two worlds influence and affect the other."
Nine Ways to Read a Bridge
"Bridges are a symbol of bringing people together, of communicating with each other, of connecting ideas. What else could reading bridges in the context of the music we usually talk about here mean but presenting different approaches of making music and trying to understand how communication works? Who else but Ken Vandermark has been constantly presenting such approaches by crossing the borders between hardcore jazz/punk (with The Flying Luttenbachers), noise core (with Zu), free funk (with Made to Break), new classical music and of course with his various free jazz/improv projects (everything from duos to larger ensembles like Audio One or the Resonance Ensemble) – and these are only a few examples! Ken Vandermark is simply one of the great masters of notated music and completely free improvisation."
No One Ever Works Alone
"Sonore is an example of how "free jazz", music that has no repertoire, no standards, relies on the head-on collision of different musical perspectives. Their album, removed as it is from the live performance and hyperbolic description, is less visceral, more cerebral but still a successful entry into the trepiditous realm of the all-saxophone group. Texturally, multi-instrumentalists help the cause— No One Ever Works Alone has 24 possible saxophone combinations multiplied by Peter Brötzmann's indefatigability, Mats Gustafsson's percussive brilliance and Ken Vandermark's synthesis of the entire saxophone tradition."
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"
"Fully in command of all elements of its instruments, the trio elaborates its thoughts over the course of three long selections of about 19, 13, and 26 minutes each."
Nothing Is Forever
Frode Gjerstad Trio
"The trio freely accumulates sonic materials until a pattern emerges and the music then takes off from there, always holding the listener's attention in the process; the music very rarely becomes rises to all-out blowing, keeping the energy flowing through control and careful listening instead. Gjerstad’s phrasing employs wide intervals and a chirping, bird-like sound, and makes a very convincing case for an original and highly original combination of Eric Dolphy's and Albert Ayler's lineages. The different strategies devised by drums and bass in reaction to the unexpected breaks, jumps and timbral microvariations in the reeds' lines make for this listener the most exciting moments in a very successful CD."