Catch My Shoe
"While not quite as outstanding an experience as The Ex live (definitely, absolutely and utterly NOT TO BE MISSED), this is easily one of the best post punk / art rock records which will be released in 2010, and a creative high point even for these old hands. -Eddie Thomas, Subbacultcha"
"Ab Baars, Ken Vandermark & Paal Nilssen-Love form Double Tandem, performing live at Cementen in Norway. Recorded and mixed by Frode Gjerstad."
Chicago Tenor Duets
Evan Parker & Joe McPhee
"The American is by nature a much more discursive player, and Parker’s response is to move with him, abandoning large designs and gaining some rhythmic variety. If the disc has meandering passages, there are also plenty of successes in which lyricism and complexity twine (and for all their stylistic extremes, there are lyrical strains in both players). -John Litweiler, JazzTimes"
Chicago Tentet at Molde 2007
Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet
""Logic might tell you that the more free jazz players you have in one spot, the greater the volume and intensity will be, but At Molde 2007 the Chicago Tentet turned in a textured performance that touches on the language of American jazz and European classical forms through the use of multilayered voices and nuanced interplay. In addition to the mainstays on the frontline (Brïtzmann, Ken Vandermark, Gustafsson, Joe McPhee), this edition of the Tentet features electro-cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, who along with bassist Kent Kessler does the work of a symphonic string section. The 40-minute "Ten by Ten" would be a satisfying album on its own, but at Molde the band played two more pieces, both nearly as expansive and spacious as the opener." –All About Jazz"
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. "
"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."
"All proceeds from the sales of this recording will go to an organization suggested by Andy, Black Lives Matter (blacklivesmatter.com), which "was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.""
Close Up (For Abbas Kiarostami)
Ken Vandermark & Lasse Marhaug
"While much of Close Up resides in tense spaces of extremity and contrast, there are moments of sudden unity—Vandermark and Marhaug falling into a pulse, nurturing each other’s half-hatched ideas, or stopping short together (Eric McDowell, Free Jazz Blog, December 7, 2016)"
The Rempis Percussion Quartet
"By now the foursome are masters at maintaining an arc of tension over such extended improvisation. What's remarkable is how they sustain the invention without repeating themselves. -John Sharpe, All About Jazz"
Codes / Myths
Rempis / Rosaly Duo
"The drummer is a true equilibrist, walking a tightrope while juggling the pulse with sticks, bells, hands, and metal objects. The concluding third finds Rempis switching to tenor saxophone, and the music resolves to make listeners dance. -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz"
"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. -Stef, Free Jazz Blog"
The Joe McPhee Quintet
"The quintet creates a spacious yet wonderfully murky chamber music, utilizing timbre as its force for forward momentum. The three-string instruments are given free rein to cover or open spaces inside this mode and create intervals of their own for McPhee and S. Dempster. They create textures in space by employing timbral chromatics of timbre and tonal extension and contraction to achieve their aims. -Thom Jurek, All Music"