The Resonance Ensemble | Double Arc | Not Two Records

The work of composing rehearsing, and performing Double Arc took place in November, 2013. Now, more than a year and a half later, I am writing the liner notes to complete the last aspect of the project. The extended distance in time between the recording and mixing/mastering of the musi gave me a different perspective toward the material than I have for most albums. Working on now — 19 months after the performance was documented at the Manggha Culture Center in Krakow — what strikes me most is that this piece seems to be my Pierrot le Fou. No insult intende toward Jean-Luc Godard by comparing his work to mine but, as that film can be seen as a such motion of ideas and filmic strategies that he had developed up until that point, Double Arc can be heard as taking similar place within my own creative development. — Ken Vandermark Continue reading

Mikołaj Trzaska | Devin Hoff | Michael Zerang | Sleepless in Chicago | No Business Records

This is an interesting LP consisting of two improvised performances by Mikołaj Trzaska on alto saxophone, Devin Hoff on bass and Michael Zerang on drums. This sounds like a coherent date but one side of the record was recorded in Chicago in 2011 and then the and the second the following year. The music in both of the performances follows an unpredictable path of free jazz. Trzaska is a very powerful saxophonist and his burly strength powers the opening track “Elastic – Chicago” with raw blowing and excellent support from Hoff and Zerang who are relentlessly driving the music forward. They slowly back off from the full throttle approach and move into a more abstract free section that uses a quieter and more open framework for the music to conclude. “Skylark – Chicago” continues the probing nature of the music allowing each musician to express themselves in an open and thoughtful manner. It is interesting to hear when the musicians coalesce into a ferociously powerful unit that are the masters of dynamics, tact and pacing. — Tim Niland Continue reading

The Resonance Ensemble | Head Above Water, Feet Out of The Fire | Not Two Records

Ken Vandermark – baritone saxophone & Bb clarinet | Mark Tokar – acoustic bass | Waclaw Zimpel – Bb & alto clarinet | Mikolaj Trzaska – alto saxophone & bass clarinet | Dave Rempis – alto & tenor saxophone | Michael Zerang – drums | Tim Daisy – drums | Steve Swell – trombone | Per-Åke Holmlander – tuba | Magnus Broo – trumpet | Devin Hoff – bass VI (on CD1 only)
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Joe McPhee | Fred Lonberg-Holm | Michael Zerang | Survival Unit III | Game Theory | Not Two Records

Joe McPhee – alto sax, pocket trumpet |Fred Lonberg-Holm – cello, electronics | Michael Zerang – percussion. Recorded in concert on October 26, 2010, at Instants Chavires, Paris, France by Jean-Marc Fossat. Mixed by Michael Zerang and Lou Mallozzi at Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago. Mastered by Rafal Drewniany (dts studio). Inside photo: Steve Robinson. Cover photo: Filip Przewozny. Cover design: Malgorzata Lipinska. Continue reading

Didier Petit | Alexandre Pierrepont | Passages – A Road Record – Woodstock – New York – Chicago – Los Angeles | RougeArt Jazz

Lawrence Butch Morris developed the concept of “conduction” to account for a mode of Instant Composition based on the creative freedom of the players stimulated by the gestures of a central conductor. AP/DP, with this cd, invent the practice of musical transduction. Just like the French language is not “translated” but transducted into Kamau Daáood’s unique prosody, DP’s cello does not “translate” the playing of a thumb piano, an oud or a kora: all of these instruments, all of their phrasings electrify his playing from the inside, they are transducted into the cello. Similarly, DP’s vocal cords do not “translate” what his fingers perform on the strings: both are electrified by a common current, alternating and direct. The astonishing fluidity of this complex meshwork of influences qualifies AP/DP as “Super-transductors”: through this cd, one hears not only a whole family of giant cello players (Abdul Wadud, Robert Een, Tom Cora, Ernst Reijseger, Peggy Lee, Hank Roberts), but also a long history of lyrical surrealism (from Lautréamont to Henri Michaux), and the widest range of traditions in ethnomusicology (from Africa to the Middle East, through classical Europe and Amerindian singing)… …Be prepared to be transducted, transformed and elated. — Yves Citton, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

The Resonance Ensemble | What Country Is This? | Not Two Records

In mid December of 2004for some completely unknown reason, a complimentary issue of Time Magazine showed up in my mailbox. I hate the periodical, never read it except when I’m at the dentist, so I have no idea why it arrived. On the front cover was George W. Bush’s face, he had been selected as “Person of the Year” by the magazine’s editors after his reelection as president. Just one more reason to hate the publication. As I flipped through the pages with masochistic curiosity while drinking my morning coffee, I came across the following, an excerpt from Late Ripeness, written by Czeslaw Milosz, a poet I had never heard of. — Ken Vandermark Continue reading