Ken Vandermark

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Vandermark Quartet: Big Head Eddie , 7/10
Vandermark Quartet: Solid Action , 7/10
Vandermark Quartet: Vandermark Quartet, 6/10
Vandermark 5: Single Piece Flow , 6.5/10
Vandermark 5: Target Dr Flag , 7/10
Vandermark 5: Simpatico , 7/10
Vandermark 5: Burn The Incline , 6/10
Vandermark 5: Acoustic Machine , 6.5/10
Vandermark 5: Airports for Light (2003), 5/10
Sound In Action Trio: Design In Time , 7/10
Territory Band 1: Transatlantic Bridge , 6.5/10
Territory Band 2: Atlas (2003), 7/10
Territory Band 3: Map Theory (2005), 7/10
Spaceways Incorporated: Thirteen Cosmic Standards , 5/10
Alchemia (2005), 6.5/10
The Color Of Memory (2005), 6.5/10
Powerhouse Sound: Oslo/Chicago (2006), 6/10
Vandermark 5: Beat Reader (2008), 5/10
Territory Band: 4: Company Switch, 6.5/10
Territory Band: 5: A New Horse for the White House, 7.5/10
Territory Band: 6: Collide (2006), 6.5/10

The musical career of tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Ken Vandermark (1964) began during his college years in Montreal and then continued in Boston, where he led the trio Lombard Street. After moving to Chicago in 1989, he joined both rock (Denison-Kimball Three, Flying Luttenbachers) and jazz (Fred Anderson, Peter Brotzmann, Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton, Joe McPhee, Joe Morris, etc) groups. The Vandermark Quartet (Ken Vandermark, Daniel Scanlan, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang) was his first major avenue of expression. Big Head Eddie (february 1993 - Platypus, 1993) and Solid Action (may 1994 - Platypus, 1994) sound more like progressive-rock than contemporary jazz and the ambiguity will remain for most of his career.

Vandermark 5 was the new group formed by Ken Vandermark. They play visceral free-jazz at neurotic speed. Jeb Bishop on trombone, Kent Kessler on bass, Tim Mulvenna on drums and Mars Williams on reeds provide fantastic backing to Single Piece Flow (Atavistic, 1997), an album that runs the gamut from bebop to jazz-rock to free-jazz (and offers an unlikely fusion of these styles in Careen). Fence and The Mark Inside were its highlights. Target Dr Flag (october 1997 - Atavistic, 1998) is an impressive tornado that dramatically upped the ante (Attempted Not Known). Simpatico (december 1998 - Atavistic, 1999) is even more cohesive. Fact And Fiction and Vent have the sound and the fury of Flying Luttenbachers.

The DKV Trio (percussionist Hamid Drake, Kessler and Vandermark) represented Vandermakr's free-jazz alter ego: Baraka (february 1997) contained the 35-minute Baraka.

The Steelwood Trio (basically, the DKV Trio with drummer Curt Newton replacing Drake) recorded International Front (september 1994), with Tag, Another Orbit and No Sleeves No Service.

Vandermark frequently collaborated with the AALY Trio (tenor saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Kjell Nordeson, drummer Peter Janson): Hidden in the Stomach (december 1996), Stumble (january 1998), that contains Vandermark's Why I Don't Go Back , Live at the Glenn Miller Cafe (march 1999), I Wonder If I Was Screaming (march 2000).

Like Rays (Knitting Factory, 1996) was the trio of Joe Morris, Ken Vandermark and Hans Poppel.

The quintet also shines on the quintet's fourth album, Burn The Incline (december 1999 - Atavistic, 2000), although the leader steals the show with a performance that is worthy of Albert Ayler and Archie Shepp. The music runs the gamut from ferocious funk (Distance, Roulette, Ground) to dreamlike jams (Late Night Wait Around, The Trouble Is).

Pipeline (2013), containing two lengthy pieces (the 34-minute Codeine Picasso and the 30-minute In This Very Room) recorded in september 2000, featured Mats Gustafsson, (tenor sax), Ken Vandermark (clarinet and tenor sax), Fredrik Ljungkvist (clarinet, tenor and baritone saxes), Guillermo Gregorio (clarinet and alto sax), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Per-ke Holmlander (tuba), Joe Morris and David Stackens (guitars), Sten Sandell (piano), Jim Baker (ARP synthesizer and piano), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Kent Kessler and Johan Berthling (basses), Michael Zerang, Raymond Strid and Kjell Nordeson (drums, vibes and percussion).

Sound In Action Trio was a trio formed with veteran Robert Barry and Tim Mulvenna on percussions. Design In Time (july 1999), heavy on covers, is more than anything else a display of the saxophonist's bravura, but also a pioneering work in employing two drummers. Gate (july 2003) continued the experiment, with another repertory of (six) covers and (five) originals.

Straight Lines (september 1998 - Atavistic, 2000) is a tribute to Joe Harriott.

School Days is a quartet with Bishop devoted to simple, sprightly music that debuted on Crossing Division (march 2000) and live In Our Times (november 2001).

Territory Band was yet another project, devoted to chamber jazz and big-band jazz for spectacular line-ups (Jim Baker on piano, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Kent Kessler on bass, Axel Doerner on trumpet, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Dave Rempis on saxophones, Paul Lytton and Tim Mulvenna on percussions). Transatlantic Bridge (february 2000) contained four lengthy jams dedicated to abstract painters: the 14-minute Collage, the 21-minute RM, the 17-minute Mobile, the 18-minute Stabile. Atlas (february 2001) repeated the same formula with the 13-minute Add and Subtract, the 16-minute Neiger, the 12-minute Catalog, the 18-minute Now for a line-up of Baker, Bishop, Doerner, Kessler, Lonberg-Holm, Lytton, Mulverna, Rempis, and newcomers Kevin Drumm on electronics, Per-Ake Holmlander on tuba, Fredrik Ljungkvist on reeds. Neiger and Now are feasts of glitchy electroacoustic improvisation. Map Theory (september 2002) was at the same time more accessible and more unpredictable, although again structured as four lengthy pieces (the 12-minute Towards Abstraction for Gil Evans, the 16-minute A Certain Light for Peter Kowald, the 16-minute Framework for Rob Vandermark, the 19-minute Image As Text for Richard Hull) for chamber orchestra (Baker, Bishop, Doerner, Kessler, Lonberg-Holm, Ljungkvist, Rempis, Lytton, Drumm, and newcomers Per-ke Holmlander on tuba and Paal Nilssen-Love on percussion). Drumm's role was becoming more relevant. The Territory Band 4 (Vandermark, Doerner, Bishop, Ljungkvist, Rempis, Lonberg-Holm, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and Lasse Marhaug at the laptop) performed live at Chicago's "Cultural Center" in september 2004. Its Company Switch (september 2004) was another double-CD album but dispensed with Drumm's electronics (Killing Floor, Local Works, Franja). 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).

Real Time (april 1996 - Eighth Day Music, 1996), by a piano quartet called Steam, is a homage to be bop.

Witches & Devils (Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams on reeds, Jim Baker on keyboards, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, Kent Kessler on bass and Steve Hunt on drums) was documented live on At The Empty Bottle (august 1997), that contains devastating versions of three Albert Ayler compositions. Expansion Slang (april 1998 - Boxholder, 1998), credited to Tripleplay, is a homage to Don Cherry (includes the 20-minute In Sequence).

Spaceways Incorporated is a trio with bassist Nate McBride and percussionist Hamid Drake. Thirteen Cosmic Standards (january 2000 - Atavistic, 2000) is a set of compositions by Sun Ra and George Clinton, which, in a sense, confesses the roots of Vandermark's schizophrenic music. Version Soul (august 2001) is a set of nine originals dedicated to soul and funk masters. Radiale (september 2003) was a collaboration with the Italian group Zu.

The double-disc English Suites (november 1997 - Wobbly Rail, 2000) is a collaboration with Paul Lytton.

The Vandermark 5's Acoustic Machine (january 2001 - Atavistic, 2001) is another solid, while conventional, work-out, whose jams are dedicated (as usual) to great musicians of the past. Stranger Blues, Auto Topography, Coast To Coast are smooth and engaging, but hardly revolutionary. License Complete is Jeb Bishop's show, and possibly the finest composition here. Fall to Grace, Close Enough, Wind Out are lengthy tests of Vandermark's mastery of jazz counterpoint.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Gianluca Mantovan)

Il sassofonista e clarinettista Ken Vandermark inizio' la propria carriera negli anni del college a Montreal e successivamente a Boston, dove guido' il trio Lombard Street. Dopo un nuovo trasferimento, questa volta a Chicago nel 1989, si accosto' sia al rock (Denison-Kimball Three) che al jazz (Fred Anderson, Peter Brotzmann, Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton, Joe McPhee, Joe Morris, ecc). Il Vandermark Quartet (Ken Vandermark, Daniel Scanlan, Kent Kessler, Michael Zerang) fu la sua prima espressione compiuta. Big Head Eddie (Platypus, 1993), Solid Action (Platypus, 1994), e Vandermark Quartet (Platypus, 1995) sono piu' progressive-rock che jazz contemporaneo: quest'ambiguita' rimarra' a lungo. Vandermark 5 e' il nuovo gruppo da lui formato. Suona free-jazz viscerale a velocita' nevrotica. Kent Kessler al basso, Tim Mulvenna alla batteria e Mars Williams agli strumenti ad ancia garantiscono eccellente supporto a Single Piece Flow (august 1996 - Atavistic, 1997), un album che percorre l'intera scala musicale passando dal bebop al jazz-rock e al free-jazz (e offre una fusione inverosimile di questi stili in Careen). Target Dr Flag (Atavistic, 1998) e' un tornado impressionante. Simpatico (Atavistic, 1999) e' ancor piu' coesivo. Fact And Fiction e Vent hanno suono e furia dei Flying Luttenbachers.

La band brilla pure sul quarto album, Burn The Incline (Atavistic, 2000), nonostante il leader rubi la scena con una performance degna di Albert Ayler e Archie Shepp. La musica percorre la scala dal funk feroce (Distance, Roulette, Ground) alle jam sognanti (Late Night Wait Around, The Trouble Is).

Sound In Action Trio e' un trio formato dal veterano Robert Barry e Tim Mulvenna alle percussioni. Design In Time (Delmark, 1999) e' soprattutto l'esemplificazione della bravura del sassofonista, ma anche l'album che sancisce l'entrata di Vandermark tra i grandi. Straight Lines (Atavistic, 2000) e' un omaggio al Joe Harriott Project.

Territory Band 1 e' un altro progetto. Transatlantic Bridge (Okka Disk, 2001) contiene quattro lunghe jam dedicate a pittori astrattisti. Real Time (Eighth Day Music, 1996), ad opera di un quartetto pianistico di nome Steam, e' un omaggio al be bop. At The Empty Bottle (Knitting Factory, 1997) contiene versioni devastanti di tre composizioni di Albert Ayler. Expansion Slang (Boxholder, 1998), accreditato a Tripleplay, e' un omaggio a Don Cherry (con i venti minuti di In Sequence). Spaceways Incorporated e' un trio con il bassista Nate McBride e il percussionista Hamid Drake. Il loro Thirteen Cosmic Standards (Atavistic, 2000) e' un set di composizioni di Sun Ra e George Clinton, che, in parte, confessa le radici della schizofrenica musica di Vandermark. Acoustic Machine (Atavistic, 2001), di Vandermark 5,e' un altro lavoro solido, benche' convenzionale, le cui jam sono dedicate (come di consueto) ai grandi musicisti del passato. Stranger Blues, Auto Topography, Coast To Coast sono scorevoli e seducenti ma non rivoluzionarie. License Complete e' lo show di Jeb Bishop, forse la piu' bella composizione su quest'album. Il DKV Trio (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler and Vandermark 5) pubblico' il doppio live Trigonometry (march 2001 - Okkadisk, 2002). Infection And Decline (Troubleman Unlimited, 2002) dei Flying Luttenbachers presenta il nuovo trio (il batterista Weasel Walter e i bassisti Jonathan Hischke and Alex Perkolup) con cinque suite prog-rock e una lunga cover dei Magma.

No Such Thing (april 1999 - Boxholder, 2001) is a collaboration with Pandelis Karayorgis and Nate McBride.

The DKV Trio (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler and Vandermark) released the live albums Live in Wels & Chicago (november 1998) and Trigonometry (Okkadisk, 2002), mostly dedicated to Don Cherry.

Double or Nothing (september 1999 - OkkaDisk, 2002) collects 1999 recordings of the AALY Trio (Mats Gustafsson, Kjell Nordeson, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten) and the DKV Trio (Drake, Kessler, Vandermark).

Dual Pleasure (july 2002) is a collaboration with percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love.

The double-disc Two Days in December (december 2001 - Wobbly Rail, 2002) collects duets with Raymond Strid, David Stackenas, Kjell Nordeson.

The Vandermark 5's Airports for Light (august 2002 - Atavistic, 2003) collects tributes to his favorite jazz players, but its follow-up, Elements of Style (july 2003 - Atavistic, 2004), is a more serious effort, capable of consolidating the sonic space according to simple grooves.

Vandermark's first solo album, Furniture Music (august 2002 - Okka, 2003), is dedicated to Erik Satie, and contains mainly music composed in his living room.

Other collaborations include: the Duets (january 2003 - Future Reference, 2003) with Brian Dibblee the Brooklyn Cantos (august 2002 - Squealer, 2004) with the Gold Sparkle Trio, the second volume of Dual Pleasure 2 (september 2003 - Smalltown Supersound, 2004) with Paal Nilssen-Love, Two Lightboxes (july 2000 - Locust, 2004) with the Lightbox Orchestra, Nuclear Assembly Hall (august 2003 - Okka, 2004) with Atomic. Most of these collaborations don't seem to be as carefully crafted as the works of his various bands.

The Vandermark 5's Alchemia (Not Two, 2005) is a 12-cd box-set that documents live performances. The double-cd The Color Of Memory (july 2004 - Atavistic, 2005) is a passionate distillation of the history of modern jazz. Jams such as Camera ratchet up specimen of cool jazz, bebop, free jazz and jazz-rock. Jeb Bishop was then replaced by cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm.

Free Fall is a trio (with bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and pianist Håvard Wiik) inspired by Jimmy Giuffre 3's drum-less chamber music of the early 1960s. They released Furnace (october 2002), Amsterdam Funk (november 2004), and The Point In A Line (summer 2006).

FME is another trio (with bassist Nate McBride and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love) that released Underground (december 2003) Cuts (october 2004).

The Vandermark 5's A Discontinuous Line (december 2005), with the 14-minute Some Not All, replaced Bishop with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, who lent the sound a "rock" quality. The new line-up marked a dramatic departure from the three-part harmonies of old Vandermark 5's material.

Bridge 61 was a group with Jason Stein, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Tim Daisy that debuted on Journal (july 2005).

Ken Vandermark/Pandelis Karayorgis (january 2006) was a collaboration with pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. Powerhouse Sound is the name of a project that originally started in Oslo in august 2005 and then was "replicated" in Chicago in november 2006. The double-CD Oslo/Chicago (november 2006) collects both performances. The material largely overlaps, thus offering a chance to compare the two groups, in a fashion similar to what Ornette Coleman did on In All Languages. The 2005 European session features electronic musician Lasse Marhaug, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and two bassists, Ingebrigt Haker and Nate McBride. The highlight is the 12-minute Shocklee. The 2006 American session features McBride, guitarist Jeff Parker and drummer John Herndon, and works as a "remix" of sorts of the previous one, except for the brand new Old Dictionary. The electronics makes the difference: both albums are great studies in dynamics, but the first one is also a subtle study in textures. The double-bass attack is also noteworthy, making the first album sound like it was constructed from the rhythm up. The American quartet sounds like a more traditional jazz jam, conceived as a series of variations on some themes.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Gianluca Mantovan)

No Such Thing (Boxholder, 2001) e' una collaborazione con Pandelis Karayorgis e Nate McBride. The DKV Trio (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler and Vandermark) pubblico' i live Live in Wels & Chicago (novembre 1998) e Trigonometry (Okkadisk, 2002), perlopiu' dedicati a Don Cherry. Double or Nothing (OkkaDisk, 2002) e' composto da 1999 registrazioni di AALY Trio (Mats Gustafsson, Kjell Nordeson, Ingebrigt Haker- Flaten) e DKV Trio (Drake, Kessler, Vandermark). Dual Pleasure (Smalltown Supersound, 2002) e' una collaborazione con il percussionista Paal Nilssen-Love. Il doppio Two Days in December (Wobbly Rail, 2002) e' composto da duetti con Raymond Strid, David Stackenas, Kjell Nordeson. The Vandermark 5's Airports for Light (Atavistic, 2003) contiene omaggi ai suoi jazzisti preferiti, laddove il successivo Elements of Style (Atavistic, 2004), e' uno sforzo piu' serio, capace di consolidare il sonic space con semplici groove. Il primo album solo di Vandermark, Furniture Music (agosto 2002 - Okka, 2003), e' dedicato ad Erik Satie, e contiene perlopiu' musica composta in salotto. Altre collaborazioni: the Duets (Future Reference, 2003) con Brian Dibblee, the Brooklyn Cantos (Squealer, 2004) con Gold Sparkle Trio, il secondo volume di Dual Pleasure 2 (Smalltown Supersound, 2004) con Paal Nilssen-Love, Two Lightboxes (Locust, 2004) con Lightbox Orchestra, Nuclear Assembly Hall (Okka, 2004) con Atomic. Queste collaborazioni sono in genere meno curate delle opere delle altre sue band. Vandermark 5's Alchemia (march 2004 - Not Two, 2005) e' una raccolta live di 12- cd. Il doppio cd The Color Of Memory (Atavistic, 2005) e' un distillato appassionato di storia del jazz moderno. Jams quali Camera mettono insieme cool jazz, bebop, free jazz e jazz-rock. Jeb Bishop fu poi sostituito dal cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. Il trio Free Fall, ispiratosi al Jimmy Giuffre 3 dei primi anni sessanta, fece Amsterdam Funk (2005). FME e' un altro trio (col bassista Nate McBride e il batterista Paal Nilssen-Love), che pubblico' Underground (dicembre 2003) e Cuts (ottobre 2004). Vandermark 5 con A Discontinuous Line (december 2005), contenente i 14 minuti di Some Not All, sostitui' Bishop col cellist Fred Lonberg- Holm. La nuova line-up rappresento' un drastico cambiamento dalle vecchie harmonies tripartite. Bridge 61 fu un gruppo con Jason Stein, il bassista Nate McBride e il batterista Tim Daisy, che debutto' con Journal (luglio 2005). Ken Vandermark/Pandelis Karayorgis (january 2006) fu una collaborazione con il pianista Pandelis Karayorgis. Powerhouse Sound e' un progetto di Oslo nell'agosto 2005, poi "replicato" a Chicago nel novembre 2006. Il doppio CD Oslo/Chicago (novembre 2006) contiene le due performance. Il materiale, ancorche' debordante, consente il paragone fra i due gruppi, come Ornette Coleman in In All Languages. 2005 European session coopta il musicista elettronico Lasse Marhaug, il batterista Paal Nilssen-Love e due bassisti, Ingebrigt Haker and Nate McBride. I 12 minuti di Shocklee ne sono il piatto forte. 2006 American session coopta McBride, il chitarrista Jeff Parker e il batterista John Herndon, e funge da "remix" del precedente, eccezion fatta per la nuova Old Dictionary. L'elettronica fa la differenza: i due album studiano la dinamica, il primo pure le trame, e con dovizia. Degno di nota e' pure l'attacco double-bass, come se il primo album fosse costruito a partire dal ritmo. The American quartet ha l'aria di essere una tradizionale jam jazz, concepito come una serie di variazioni su alcuni temi.

Territory Band's Collide (august 2006), a five-movement suite for orchestra recorded live, is a collaboration between tenorist Fred Anderson and a 12-piece version of Vandermark's ensemble consisting of Dave Rempis and Fredrik Ljungkvist on saxophones, Axel Doerner on trumpet, Lasse Marhaug on electronics, Jim Baker on piano, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, David Stackenas on guitars, Per-Ake Holmlander on tuba, Kent Kessler on bass, Paul Lytton and Paal Nilssen-Love on percussion.

Resonance (november 2007) documents two live jams with Polish musicians.

By the time the Vandermark 5's Beat Reader (2008) came out, Vandermark had stopped playing the tenor saxophone (leaving it to Dave Rempis) and concentrated on the baritone saxophone and clarinets. Thanks to the eccentric cello sounds and the propulsive rhythm section, the music is traversed by undercurrents of funk, rock and rhythm'n'blues.

Fire Room was a spin-off of Powerhouse Sound, featuring Ken Vandermark, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and keyboardist Lasse Marhaug. Broken Music (Atavistic, 2008) was another blend of jazz, hardcore and noise.

The double-disc Fox Fire (november 2008) documents live performances with the rhythm section of Barry Guy and Mark Sanders.

Sonore, the trio of Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark and Peter Brotzmann, was documented on the live No One Ever Works Alone (october 2003) and double-disc Call Before You Dig (december 2008), that contains both a live and a studio session.

The Frame Quartet (Tim Daisy on drums, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics, and Nate McBride on bass and electronics) debuted on 35mm (july 2009).

The double album Light On The Wall (may 2007 - Laurence Family, 2009) documented a live collaboration with Tim Daisy (drums) and a solo performance.

Resonance is a ten-cd box-set that documents live performances recorded in november 2007.

Artifact (a quartet with Johannes Bauer on trombone, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums and Thomas Lehn on synthesizer) debuted on record with iTi Live In St. Johann (march 2008) that documents a live performance, mostly the 36-minute Del En.

The Ex - Lean Left, Vol. 1 (march 2008), credited to Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love, was a collaboration with Ex's guitarists Andy Moor (right guitar) and Terrie Ex (left guitar).

Vandermark 5's live double-disc The Horse Jumps And The Ship Is Gone (june 2009), the follow-up to Alchemia, featured a septet with Dave Rempis (alto and baritone saxes), Kent Kessler (bass), Fred Lonbeerg-Holm (cello), Tim Daisy (drums), Havard Wilk (piano) and Magnus Broo (trumpet).

Free Fall's Grey Scale (september 2008) was completely improvised.

The Resonance Ensemble's Kafka In Flight (september 2009) collects three live performances by a ten-piece ensemble, while Powerhouse Sound's Light On A Wall (may 2007) documents a duo with drummer Tim Daisy.

Powerhouse Sound's Overlap featured a quartet with Jeff Parker (electric guitar and electronics), Nate McBride (electric bass and electronics) and John Herndon (drums) and mostly reworked material from Oslo/Chicago.

Roads Of Wate (december 2008) was the first movie soundtrack composed by Vandermark.

A duo with drummer Tim Daisy yielded the EP Live At The Empty Bottle (august 2006), Light On The Wall (may 2008) and The Conversation (may 2010 and march 2011). The latter contains the 20-minute Fifty Cent Opera.

Side A - A New Margin (october 2010) features pianist Havard Wiik and drummer Chad Taylor.

The Reed Trio, i.e. the reedist's project with Mikolaj Trzaska (bass clarinet, alto saxophone, c-melody saxophone) and Waclaw Zimpel (clarinet, bass clarinet, tarogato) debuted with Last Train To The First Station (december 2008 and july 2010), recorded in a Polish synagogue.

The live solo Mark In The Water (november 2010) was a tribute to giants of jazz.

The Resonance Ensemble's What Country Is This? (march 2011 - Not Two, 2012) contains three lenghty pieces, particularly the 19-minute Fabric Monument performed by Per-Åke Holmlander (tuba), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Michael Zerang and Tim Daisy (drums), Devin Hoff (bass), Mikolaj Trzaska (alto sax & bass clarinet), Dave Rempis  alto & tenor saxes), Waclaw Zimpel (Bb & bass clarinet) and Steve Swell (trombone).

Double Tandem, a trio with Ab Baars (tenor sax, Bb clarinet, shakuhachi) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums, percussion), debuted with the live Cement (september 2011).

Platform 1's Takes Off (may 2011) featured Magnus Broo (trumpet), Steve Swell (trombone), Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet), Michael Vatcher (drums) and Joe Williamson (bass).

A duet with Paal Nilssen-Love is documented on Letter To A Stranger (january 2011).

Ex's guitarists Terrie Ex and Andy Moor joined Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and B clarinet) for Live At Cafe Oto (september 2011) credited to Lean Left, followed by I Forgot To Breathe (september 2015).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Gianluca Mantovan)

Band Collide dei Territory (agosto 2006), suite per orchestra in cinque atti registrata dal vivo, una collaborazione tra il tenore Fred Anderson e una versione a dodici dell'ensemble di Vandermark con Dave Rempis e Fredrik Ljungkvist ai sassofoni, Axel Doerner alla tromba, Lasse Marhaug agli strumenti elettronici, Jim Baker al piano, Fred Lonberg-Holm al violoncello, Davide Stackenas alle chitarre, Per-Ake Holmlander al tuba, Kent Kessler al basso, Paul Lytton e Paal Nilssen- Love alle percussioni. Resonance (novembre 2007) documenta due jam dal vivo con musicisti polacchi. Quando usc Beat Reader di Vandermark 5 (2008), il nostro aveva smesso di suonare il sax tenore (ora di Dave Rempis) per concentrarsi su sax baritono e clarinetto. Grazie ai suoni eccentrici del violoncello ed alla sezione ritmica propulsiva, la musica attraversata da correnti sotterranee di funk, rock e rhythm'n'blues. Fire Room uno spin-off di Powerhouse Sound, con Ken Vandermark, il batterista Paal Nilssen-Love e il tastierista Lasse Marhaug. Broken Music (Atavistic, 2008) fu un altro mix di jazz, hardcore e noise. Il doppio Fox Fire (novembre 2008) documenta performance dal vivo con la sezione ritmica di Barry Guy e Mark Sanders. Sonore, il trio di Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark e Peter Brotzmann, stato documentato sul live No One Ever Works Alone (ottobre 2003) e sul doppio Call Before You Dig (dicembre 2008), che contiene sia un live che una sessione in studio. Il Frame Quartet (Tim Daisy alla batteria, Fred Lonberg-Holm al violoncello ed elettronica, e Nate McBride al basso ed elettronica) ha debuttato in 35mm (luglio 2009). Il doppio Light On The Wall (maggio 2007 - Laurence Famiglia, 2009) ha documentato una collaborazione live con Tim Daisy (batteria) e una performance da solista. Resonance un box-set con dieci cd che documenta performance dal vivo registrate nel novembre 2007. Artifact (un quartetto con Johannes Bauer al trombone, Paal Nilssen-Love alla batteria e Thomas Lehn al sintetizzatore) ha debuttato su disco con iTi Live In St. Johann (Marzo 2008) che documenta una performance live, soprattutto con i 36 minuti di Del En. The Ex - Lean Left, Vol. 1 (marzo 2008), a nome Ken Vandermark e Paal Nilssen-Love, fu una collaborazione con i chitarristi Andy Moor (chitarra destra) e Terrie Ex (chitarra sinistra) degli Ex. Il doppio dal vivo di Vandermark 5 The Horse Jumps And The Ship Is Gone (giugno 2009), follow-up di Alchemia, incluse un settetto con Dave Rempis (contralto e sax baritono), Kent Kessler (basso), Fred Lonbeerg-Holm (violoncello), Tim Daisy (batteria), Havard Wilk (pianoforte) e Magnus Broo (tromba). Grey Scale dei Free Fall (settembre 2008) era completamente improvvisato. Kafka In Flight dei Resonance Ensemble (settembre 2009) contiene tre esibizioni live di un ensemble a dieci, mentre Light On A Wall dei Powerhouse Sound (maggio 2007) documenta un duo con il batterista Tim Daisy.   Overlap dei Powerhouse Sound incluse un quartetto con Jeff Parker (chitarra elettrica ed elettronica), Nate McBride (basso elettrico ed elettronica) e John Herndon (batteria) con perlopi materiale rielaborato di Oslo/Chicago. Roads Of Wate (dicembre 2008) stata la prima colonna sonora composta da Vandermark. Un duo con il batterista Tim Daisy ha generato l'EP Live At The Empty Bottle (agosto 2006), Light On The Wall (maggio 2008) e The Conversation (maggio 2010 e marzo 2011). Quest'ultimo contiene i 20 minuti di Fifty Cent Opera. Side A - A New Margin (ottobre 2010) comprende il pianista Havard Wiik e il batterista Chad Taylor. Il Trio Reed, vale a dire il progetto con Mikolaj Trzaska (clarinetto basso, sax alto, c-melody sax) e Waclaw Zimpel (clarinetto, clarinetto basso, Tarogato) ha debuttato con Last Train To The First Station (dicembre 2008 e luglio 2010), registrato in una sinagoga polacca. Il solo live Mark In The Water (novembre 2010) stato un omaggio a giganti del jazz. What Country Is This? dei Resonance Ensemble (Marzo 2011 - Not Two, 2012) contiene tre lunghi pezzi, in particolare i 19 minuti di Fabric Monument eseguiti da Per- ke Holmlander (tuba), Magnus Broo (tromba), Michael Zerang e Tim Daisy (batteria), Devin Hoff (basso), Mikolaj Trzaska (sax alto e clarinetto basso), Dave Rempis (sax contralto e tenore), Waclaw Zimpel (clarinetto bb & basso) e Steve Swell (trombone). Doppia Tandem, un trio con Ab Baars (sax tenore, clarinetto bb, shakuhachi) e Paal Nilssen-Love (batteria, percussioni), ha debuttato con il live Cement (settembre 2011). Platform 1's Takes Off (maggio 2011) stato suonato da Magnus Broo (tromba), Steve Swell (trombone), Ken Vandermark (sax tenore e clarinetto), Michael Vatcher (batteria) e Joe Williamson (Basso). Un duetto con Paal Nilssen-Love documentato da Letter To A Stranger (gennaio 2011).

Double Tandem's OX (april 2012) was another live album, including Toreros and Omasum.

DVK Trio's seven-disc boxset Past Present collects live performances of 2008-11 by Hamid Drake (drums), Kent Kessler (bass) and Ken Vandermark (reeds).

Made To Break was a quartet with Tim Daisy (drums), Devin Hoff (electric bass) and Christof Kurzmann (electronics) debuted on Provoke (november 2011) and Lacerba (november 2011). The former contains the 24-minute Further (for John Cage), the 20-minute Presentation (for Buckminster Fuller) and the 19-minute Of the facts (for Marshall McLuhan). The latter contains leftovers from the same sessions.

The Ex collaborated with Brass Unbound, i.e. the reed quartet of Mats Gustafsson (baritone sax), Ken Vandermark (saxes and clarinet), Wolter Wierbos (trombone) and Roy Paci (trumpet), for Enormous Door (2013).

In 2012 Ken Vandermark also formed Rara Avis, a project with Stefano Ferrian (saxes), Luca Pissavini (double bass), Simone Quatrana (piano) and SEC_ (the moniker of Mimmo Napolitano, electronic musician and composer from Naples, here on revox and instant sound treatment), documented on Mutations/Multicellulars Mutations (Den, 2013).

Verses (march 2013) was the first duo album by Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark.

Vandermark's Topology Nonet debuted with Impressions of PO Music (june 2011), an album of old McPhee compositions: Joe McPhee (tenor sax), Jason Adasiewicz (vibraphone), Josh Berman (cornet), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Tim Daisy (drums), Kent Kessler (bass), Dave Rempis (saxes) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello and electronics).

Schl8hof (november 2011 - Trost, 2013) documents a live performance by the DKV Trio (Hamid Drake on drums, Kent Kessler on bass and Ken Vandermark on clarinet and tenor sax) with the collaboration Mats Gustafsson (tenor and baritone sax), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Massimo Pupillo (electric bass).

The Resonance Ensemble added bassist Mark Tokar for the double-disc Head Above Water Feet Out of The Fire (august 2012), half of which documents a live concert.

Made To Break's Cherchez la Femme (Trost, 2014), featuring Christof Kurzmann on electronics, contains the 18-minute jam Capital Black, and was followed by Before The Code (november 2014).

Live At Area Sismica (september 2012) documents a collaboration by Ex's guitarists Terrie Ex and Andy Moor with drummer Paal Nilssen-love and saxophonist Ken Vandermark.

Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love recorded the live improvisations of Lightning Over Water (october 2011).

A trio with Norwegian pianist Havard Skarpnes Wiik and drummer Chad Taylor recorded In The Abstract (july 2013).

The ten-unit ensemble Audio One featured Mars Williams, Dave Rempis & Nick Mazzarella on saxes & clarinet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Josh Berman on cornet, Jen Paulson on viola, Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Nick Macri on acoustic & electric bass and Tim Daisy on drums. They debuted with An International Report (february 2014) and The Midwest School (february 2014), both recorded during the same sessions and mostly devoted to contemporary jazz composers. Next came What Thomas Bernhard Saw (august 2014).

The DKV Trio, along with Kent Kessler (bass) and Hamid Drake (drums & percussion), recorded the five-disc set Sound In Motion In Sound, while the six-disc set of Nine Ways To Read A Bridge documents various duets and trios with the likes of Agusti Fernandez (piano), Christof Kurzmann (electronics), Joe McPhee (reeds), Joe Morris (guitar), Nate Wooley (trumpet) and Paul Lytton (percussion), John Tilbury (piano) and Eddie Prevost (percussion).

East By Northwest (june 2013) and All Directions Home (august 2015) document live improvisations between Nate Wooley (trumpet) and Ken Vandermark (clarinet, tenor and baritone saxes).

The six-disc box-set Extended Duos (mostly from june 2014) documents sessions by Ken Vandermark (reeds) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) plus improvisations by the duo with guests such as Tamaya Honda (drums), Jim O'Rourke (guitar), Akira Sakata (Bb clarinet), Masahiko Satoh (piano), Michiyo Yagi (koto) and Mick Beck (reeds).

Ned Rothenberg and Ken Vandermark formed the all-clarinet sextet Renga Ensemble with Keefe Jackson, Jason Stein, James Falzone and Ben Goldberg. They debuted with The Room Is (april 2013).

Resistance (recorded live in 2013) documents a live collaboration between Ken Vandermark on reeds and Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello and electronics.

The Chicago Reed Quartet debuted with Western Automatic (august 2014): Nick Mazzarella on alto sax, Dave Rempis on alto, tenor & baritone saxes, Mars Williams on sopranino, soprano, alto & tenor saxes and the leader on clarinets, tenor & baritone saxes.

The six-disc boxset (plus DVD) Extended Duos (recorded between october 2011 and june 2014) documents sessions with Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) along with several guests: Mick Beck and Akira Sakata (both on reeds), Tamaya Honda (drums), Jim O'Rourke (guitar), Masahiko Satoh (piano) and Michiyo Yagi (koto).

The electroacoustic "concerto" Double Arc (november 2013) was recorded by the Resonance Ensemble (Mikolaj Trzaska on alto sax and clarinet, Dave Rempis on alto and tenor saxes, Mark Tokar on bass, Waclaw Zimpel on clarinets, Michael Zerang and Tim Daisy on drums, Steve Swell on trombone, Magnus Broo on trumpet and Perke Holmlander on tuba) with Christof Kurzmann on electronics.
The double-disc Occasional Poems (november 2014) was a duet with bassist Barry Guy.

The double-disc Site Specific (2015) contains the 30-minute House (august 2014), the 36-minute Cavern (april 2015) and the 26-minute Tracks (april 2015) and the 27-minute Pipe (april 2015), each of them a multi-movement work dedicated to friends of the jazz avantgarde.

The Lions Have Eaten One Of The Guards (october 2013) was a live collaboration with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.

The three long pieces of Collider (november 2014), particularly the 24-minute Moving Map, was recorded by the DVK Thing Trio and Mats' Gustaffson The Thing.

Ken Vandermark recorded four hours of music with different lineups over six days and released them as the six-disc boxset Momentum 1 - Stone (january 2016). Among the collaborators were: trumpetist Nat Wooley, celloist Okkyung Lee, guitarist Joe Morris, trombonist Steve Swell, bassist William Parker, electronic musician Ikue Mori, saxophonists Joe McPhee and Ned Rothenberg, drummers Chris Corsano and Paal Nilssen-Love, pianists Sylvie Courvoisier and Havard Wiik, and violist Mat Maneri.

Burning Below Zero (october 2014) debuted the DEK Trio with Austrian pianist Elisabeth Harnik and Austrian drummer Didi Kern.

Shelter (may 2016) featured the quartet of Ken Vandermark (reeds), Nate Wooley (trumpet), Jasper Stadhouders (electric bass & guitar) and Steve Heather (drums & noise box). Escalator (may 2016) featured Mark Tokar (bass) and Klaus Kugel (drums).

The DKV Trio returned with Latitude 41.88 (december 2014).

Made To Break returned with Trebuchet (april 2016), debuting new bassist Jasper Stadhouders.

Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley recorded the six-disc box-set Momentum 1: Stone (january 2016) and the double-disc Momentum 2: Brullt/ Momentum 3: Monster Roster (august 2016), containing Momentum 2: Brult features the ten-part Brult performed by Nate Wooley on trumpet, C. Spencer Yeh on violin & electronics, Jasper Stadhouders on bass and guitar, Christof Kurzmann on ppooll (loops vis synth or sampler), Vandermark on reeds and Tim Daisy on drums, and Monster Roster with Ken Vandermark and Mars Williams on reeds, Lou Mallozzi on turntables, Nick Macri on acoustic bass and Tim Barnes on drums. Another collaboration between Wooley and Vandermark was Wired For Sound (september 2017), featuring Andrew Clinkman & Steve Marquette on guitars, Macie Stewart on keyboard & violin and Phil Sudderberg on drums.

Duol (june 2015) documents a collaboration with Canadian pianist Michael Snow .

No Exit Corner (december 2016) documents the trio of Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet), Klaus Kugel (drums, percussion) and Mark Tokar (double bass).

Marker's triple-disc set Roadwork 1/Roadwork2/Homework1 (february 2018) contains ten lengthy pieces and was performed by the Wired for Sound line-up without Wooley.

The quartet of Ken Vandermark (saxophone and clarinet), Nate Wooley (trumpet), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) and Tom Rainey (drums) recorded Noise Of Our Time (august 2017).

Looks Of A Lot (june 2017) documents a collaboration between Jason Moran (piano) and Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet) leading a large ensemble of seven saxes, five trombones, seven trumpets, two pianos, two basses, six percussionists and a vocalist.

The six-disc box-set The Fire Each Time (december 2017) documents a collaboration between Joe McPhee and DKV, aka Ken Vandermark (reeds), Kent Kessler (bass) and Hamid Drake (drums).

Screen Off (PNL, 2019) is a collection of twenty-one 2-minute improvisations by Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Ken Vandermark (reeds), extracted from clips of live YouTube videos that were made between 2008 and 2018.

Deeply Discounted II/ Sequences Of Snow (june 2017) was the third collaboration with trumpeter Nate Wooley.

The double-disc set New Industries (july 2018) four pieces performed (first in studio and then live) with guitarists Andrew Clinkman and Steve Marquette, violinist and organist Macie Stewart and drummer Phil Sudderberg.

The five-disc box-set Consequent Duos 2015>2019 credited to Momentum 4, collects duets recorded between june 2015 and january 2019 and pitting Vandermark against drummer Paul Lytton (CD 1), Ikue Mori on electronics (CD 2, notably in the 34-minute Stone 1A), pianist Kris Davis (CD 3, notably in the 24-minute Stone2C), bassist William Parker (CD 4), and drummer Hamid Drake (CD 5).

Invitation To A Dream (september 2017) documents a session by Joe McPhee (soprano sax and pocket trumpet), Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet) and Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar).

Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet) and the Turkish quartet Konstrukt (Korhan Futaci on alto saxophone and vocals, Umut Caglar on electric guitar, synthesizer and traditional instruments, Apostolos Sideris on double bass, Berkan Tilavel on drums and electronic percussion) recorded Kozmik Bazaar (november 2018).

Made to Break's 9th album F4 Fake (november, 2017) contains two lengthy improvisations (the 20-minute Aaton, dedicated to Orson Wells, and the 19-minute Agora, dedicated to Zelia Barbosa).

The seven-disc box-set Unexpected Alchemy (Not Two, 2019) documents live performances recorded between november 2017 and may 2018 with John Butcher, Joe McPhee & Mette Rasmussen on reeds & brass, Nate Wooley on trumpet, John Tilbury on piano, Ikue Mori on laptop, Kent Kessler on contrabass and Hamid Drake, Steve Noble and Eddie Prevost on drums & percussion, including a 30-minute solo by Noble, a 29-minute duet between Ikue Mori and Mette Rasmussen, and a whole disc devoted to the trio of Prevost, Tilbury and Vandermark.

Vandermark's ensemble Entr'Acte featured Nate Wooley on trumpet, Mette Rasmussen on alto sax, Jasper Stadhouders (from Cactus Truck) on electric bass & guitar, Terrie Hessels (from The Ex) on guitar, Joe Williamson on basses, Elisabeth Harnik on piano, Dieb13 on turntables & electronics and Steve Heather on drums. They were first documented on Soigne Ta Droite (march 2018), that includes the 24-minute Foundry.

Arto Lindsay (guitar), Joe McPhee (alto and tenor saxes, pocket trumpet), Ken Vandermark (tenor and baritone saxes, clarinet) and Phil Sudderberg (drums) collaborated on Largest Afternoon (february 2019).

The live Open Border (october 2018) features Hamid Drake (drums), Luigi Ceccarelli (electronics) and Gianni Trovalusci (flutes).

Improvisers (november 2019) documents a live performance with Jaap Blonk (voice, electronics) and Lou Mallozzi (turntables, cds, mixer, microphone, organ pipes).

The solo The Field Within A Line (september 2020) was recorded at home during the covid pandemic.

Momentum's Stammer (november 2019) features Nick Macri (bass), Katinka Kleijn (cello), Lou Mallozzi and Damon Locks (electronics), Tim Barnes and Claire Rousay (both on percussion) and Mars Williams (toy instruments and reeds), and contains five untitled pieces, three of which exceed the 20-minute mark.

Soundbridges (september 2021) was recorded with Matthias Muche (trombone), Martin Blume (drums) and Thomas Lehn (synthesizer), and it contains the 19-minute The Thirty-nine Steps.

Eternal River (october 2021), a collaboration with drummer Hamid Drake, is a tribute to Don Cherry.

Snapshots Complete (november 2021) is a solo album on which Vandermark played tenor and baritone saxes, as well as clarinets.

The seven-disc boxset Japan 2019 (december 2019) collects seven improvisations between Paal Nilssen Love (drums and percussion) and Ken Vandermark (tenor sax and clarinet), sometimes accompanied by pianists Yugi Takahashi and Masahiko Satoh, and by Akira Sakata (alto sax and clarinet).

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