""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. "
Jaap Blonk's Retirement Overdue
"When I was about to turn 65, I thought: why not start a new band, and give it a name that asks for consistent challenge: Jaap Blonk’s Retirement Overdue. I am very happy these wonderful younger musicians joined me. And since it is 20 years ago that I last had a regular band that played mostly my pieces, this is a New Start. —Jaap Blonk, March 2020"
New Works for Solo Percussion
"New Works for Solo Percussion, reveal how Daisy has developed his long-standing facility with sonic contrasts into a system for generating and sustaining dramatic tension for 15 minutes at a time. —Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader"
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."
No Place to Fall
Rodrigo Amado & Chis Corsano
""A new chapter in the tradition of the great tenor-drums duets!" - Ulrich Jonas"
No Queen Rises
""Dew lies on the instruments of straw that you were playing, / The ruts in your empty road are red" Fish-Scale sunrise signals for Baars a broadening spectrum of possibilities for compositions and improvisations. Baars wanted to explore new timbre, dynamics and sounds. He employs for the first time in his ensembles a pianist - Slovenian, Amsterdam-based pianist Kaja Draksler, who collaborated before with Baars in her Octet - introducing a new weight of nuances of timbre and dynamics as well as new harmonic horizons. Canadian, Stockholm-based double bass player Joe Williamson completes this drummer-less format and positions the bass with a unique role. Baars wrote seven compositions and the other two are free-improvisations. -Eyal Hareuveni, All About Jazz"
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."
North of Blanco
Jaap Blonk / Sandy Ewen / Damon Smith / Chris Cogburn
""A really cool album with a wide array of diverse sounds and adventurous textures." - Ed Pettersen, Free Jazz Blog"
Tim Daisy & Frank Rosaly
"The third album in this Catalytic Artist Album fundraising series is the Tim Daisy / Frank Rosaly duo record "Northern Duets." All donations raised from sales of this recording will go in perpetuity to BYP100, an organization recommended by Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. (www.byp100.org/about)."
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."
Nothing to Read
Mats Gustafsson / Paul Lovens
"This is a masterpiece of free improvisation, but good luck finding a copy. It confirms Mats's status as a master musician even at this relatively early stage of his career."
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten New York Quartet
"Together, this drummer-less quartet floats differing pulses, favoring interactions such as the conversation between Morris and Flaten on "Pent," and Wooley's fluttering notes against bowed bass on "Knicks." The startling speed of "Giants" represents a heart-pounding four minutes of spontaneous felicity, while Wooley and Flaten open "As If" by setting the table for the quartet's harmonies. McPhee and Morris slide inside this and other pieces, working each track and maintaining the originator's framework. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
Nuclear Assembly Hall
Atomic / School Days
"The 3rd release by Ken Vandermark's School Days is a double CD of studio material recorded with the Oslo quintet Atomic. Both bands have the same rhythm section of Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Ingebrigt HÂker Flaten on bass. The group includes Magnus Broo: trumpet, Jeb Bishop: trombone, Fredrik Liungkvist: reeds, Ken Vandermark: reeds, Hevard Wiik: piano & Kjell Nordeson: vibraphone. 9 new compositions 1 each by all the members (2 by Mr. Liungkvist)."
Ken Vandermark & Barry Guy
"For British bassist Barry Guy the concert that produced this fine double disc package occurred at the end of a four day intensive residency in Krakow culminating in the premier of an ambitious new work by his Blue Shroud Band. While for Chicago reedman Ken Vandermark, the event was the final episode in two months on the road. But whether relief or exhaustion were the dominant feelings, neither resulted in any lowering of standards or resting on laurels. Occasional Poems captures in unvarnished fidelity both sets in their entirety from the storied Alchemia club before a packed and enthusiastic audience."
October Music (Vol 1) - 7 Compositions For Duet
"The length of these pieces is just right. No solo overstays its welcome. No theme becomes cumbersome. In fact, they're downright lovely; perfectly suited for each duet. The track sequencing is brilliant, encouraging many repeated listening sessions. And for you audiophiles, Alex Inglizian not only captured some amazing sessions; he also managed to record and mix acoustic piano and drums perfectly. Perfectly, I say! —Tom Burris, Free Jazz Blog"