The Vandermark 5 | Alchemia | Not Two Records


Live document of the extraordinary musical event during five nights stand at Alchemia club in Cracow, Poland in March 2004. Limited edition release: all box sets are individually numbered. Each box set includes 12 CD’s and booklet with comprehensive essays, interviews and reviews in Polish and English languages. Exquisite packaging includes 3 x 4-disc units, each housed in a different 4-color folio. Absolutely unique design, five different covers and more!

I consider the five night stand by the Vandermark 5 at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland from March 15 -19, 2004, to be one of the highlights of my career. — Ken Vandermark

Ken Vandermark – reeds | Dave Rempis – saxophones | Jeb Bishop – trombone | Kent Kessler – double bass | Tim Daisy – drums | Marcin Oleś (on #11, 12 only) – double bass | Bartłomiej Brat Oleś (on #11, 12 only) – drums

Album 1 | Day One: Monday, March 15, 2004, Set One | Tracklist: 1. Telefon (Vandermark) [08:36] 2. Other Cuts (Vandermark) [12:57] 3. Staircase (Vandermark) [10:45] 4. Strata (Vandermark) [13:43] 5. Free King’s Suite (Roland Kirk) – Meeting On Termini’s Corner; Three For The Festival; A Handful Of Fives [12:09]

Album 2 | Day One: Monday, March 15, 2004, Set Two | Tracklist: 1. Outside Ticket (Vandermark) [11:03] 2. Money Down (Vandermark) [06:33] 3. Camera [FIRST PERFORMANCE] (Vandermark) [16:53] 4. Roulette (Vandermark) [04:33] 5. Cruz Campo (Vandermark) [10:31] 6. The Black And Crazy Blues (Roland Kirk) [Encore] [08:36]

Album 3 | Day Two: Tuesday, March 16, 2004, Set One | Tracklist: 1. Confluence (Vandermark) [08:17] 2. Rip Rig And Panic Suite (Roland Kirk) – From Bechet, Byas And Fats; Rip, Rig And Panic; No Tonic Press [14:14] 3. Camera (Vandermark) [18:51] 4. Both Sides (Vandermark) [09:11] 5. Knock Yourself Out (Vandermark) [07:18]

Album 4 | Day Two: Tuesday, March 16, 2004, Set Two | Tracklist: 1. The Cooler (Vandermark) [09:19] 2. That Was Now [FIRST PERFORMANCE] (Vandermark) [11:32] 3. Six Of One (Vandermark) [22:48] 4. Silverlization/Volunteered Slavery (Roland Kirk) [10:42] 5. There Is The Bomb (Don Cherry) [11:04]

Album 5 | Day Three: Wednesday, March 17, 2004, Set One | Tracklist: 1. That Was Now (Vandermark) [10:46] 2. Seven Puls Five (Vandermark) [08:13] 3. The Bridge (Sonny Rollins) [06:54] 4. Gyllene (Vandermark) [09:34] 5. Auto Topography (Vandermark) [12:58]

Album 6 | Day Three: Wednesday, March 17, 2004, Set Two | Tracklist: 1. The Freedom Suite, Part 2(Sonny Rollins) [06:20] 2. Telefon (Vandermark) [11:23] 3. Initials (Vandermark) [07:12] 4. Camera (Vandermark) [18:03] 5. Other Cuts (Vandermark) [13:36] 6. The Black And Crazy Blues (Roland Kirk) [Encore] [09:04] 7. Knock Yourself Out (Vandermark) [Encore] [06:47]

Album 7 | Day Four: Thursday, March 18, 2004, Set One | Tracklist: 1. Money Down (Vandermark) [05:36] 2. Inflated Tear (Roland Kirk) [06:55] 3. Wherever June Bugs Go (Archie Shepp) [12:24] 4. Camera (Vandermark) [15:42] 5. Cruz Campo (Vandermark) [09:28]

Album 8 | Day Four: Thursday, March 18, 2004, Set Two | Tracklist: 1. Pieces Of The Past [FIRST PERFORMANCE] (Vandermark) [09:47] 2. That Was Now (Vandermark) [11:53] 3. Long Term Fool (Vandermark) [09:57] 4. Strata (Vandermark) [11:25] 5. Silverlization/Volunteered Slavery (Roland Kirk) [11:45] 6. The Bridge (Sonny Rollins) [Encore] [07:37]

Album 9 | Day Five: Friday, March 19, 2004, Set One | Tracklist: 1. Conquistador, Part 2 (Cecil Taylor) [08:26] 2. Knock Yourself Out (Vandermark) [07:22] 3. Pieces Of The Past (Vandermark) [09:47] 4. Camera (Vandermark) [18:02] 5. Cruz Campo (Vandermark) [10:16]

Album 10 | Day Five: Friday, March 19, 2004, Set Two | Tracklist: 1. That Was Now (Vandermark) [11:38] 2. Gyllene (Vandermark) [10:55] 3. Telefon (Vandermark) [09:49] 4. Ken’s final speach [02:03] 5. Six Of One (Vandermark [22:49] 6. Other Cuts (Vandermark) [Encore] [13:42] 7. The Black And Crazy Blues (Roland Kirk) [08:20]

Album 11 | Jam Session One, Wednesday, March 17, 2004 | Tracklist: 1. Free Jam 1 (Vandermark/Bishop/M.Oleś/B.B.Oleś) [11:35] 2. Free Jam 2 (Vandermark/Bishop/M.Oleś/B.B.Oleś) [05:17] 3. Free Jam 3 (Vandermark/Rempis/Daisy/Bishop/M.Oleś) [12:27] 4. East Broadway Run Down (Sonny Rollins), Elephantasy/Complete Communion (Don Cherry) [11:17] 5. Theme For Alchemia (Vandermark/Rempis/Daisy/Kessler) [08:55] 6. Bemsha Swing (Thelonious Monk) [10:54]

Album 12 | Jam Session Two, Thursday, March 18, 2004 | Tracklist: 1. Round Trip (Ornette Coleman) [22:50] 2. Free Jam 5 (Vandermark/Bishop/Kessler/M.Oleś) [17:38] 3. Free Jam 6 (Vandermark/Bishop/M.Oleś/B.B.Oleś) [12:26] 4. Togo (based on a Ghanese traditional, Ed Blackwell) [04:09] 5. Lonely Woman (Ornette Coleman) [08:53]

I consider

the five night stand by the Vandermark 5 at Alchemia in Krakow, Poland from March 15 -19, 2004, to be one of the highlights of my career. The fact that record producer / presenter, Marek Winiarski, documented the series and is now releasing the material as a box set is truly remarkable, and I am very thankful to him and everyone who was involved in realizing this project; particularly the musicians, Jeb Bishop, Tim Daisy, Kent Kessler, and Dave Rempis. As always, they worked extremely hard during this residency, which came at the end of a three week European tour.

During our concerts at Alchemia, the Vandermark 5 performed 2 different sets of music with at least one encore every night, a total of 55 pieces: 32 compositions from 8 different albums, including 3 world premiers – “Camera”, “That Was Now” and “Pieces Of The Past”. What you hear on this collection of recordings is the best available representation of how the band actually sounded and worked in this period, with one marked difference. For the first time we were able to live and play in one city for 5 days, which meant I was afforded the opportunity to compose in the morning and rehearse material with the band in the afternoon, then play this material at the evening concert, each and every day. As someone who has always idolized Duke Ellington’s methods of creativity, I conceived of the Vandermark 5 from the beginning as an attempt to develop, as close as I could, a working band based on Ellington’s example. The quintet was formed in the spring of 1996, and by the time these concerts occurred four of the members had been working together since 1997, and the fifth, Tim Daisy, had been with the band for more than 2 years. Over that stretch of time, the Vandermark 5 went from being a workshopping unit that performed every week during the late 1990’s at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, to becoming an international touring ensemble whose concerts most often occurred on the road in North America or Europe. During its entire existence, however, the group has always focused on creating new material through consistent rehearsal and performance. The shifts in the aesthetics of the band caused by this work are well documented through the studio and live recordings available on Atavistic records.

This is the first occasion, however, where the quintet has been represented in the way it actually played – night after night. In most cases, the only people who really experience the ongoing process and creativity of a working improvised music ensemble are its members. At best, most listeners hear but one concert on a tour because the group will likely move onto another city or town the next day. One of my personal goals is to bring the music to clubs and smaller venues on a regular basis, for a series of concerts during several nights at the same location. The Vandermark 5 residency in Krakow at Alchemia is proof that the idea can work – we played to packed houses every single night, and the energy coming to and from the stage on those evenings is something I will never forget.

When Marek originally proposed the idea of recording these concerts the intention was not to release everything as a box set, something that would have clearly been considered economically insane, but to select the strongest performances for use as a double cd co-production with Atavistic. After the series ended, however, Marek fought for the idea to release all of the material in this production, and I am thankful for it. There are a few problematic moments on these recordings: such as the end of “Gyllene” from the third night, a screw on my baritone came loose during the final theme which made it impossible for me to play; and some sections of the new pieces are faulty, we were literally learning as we went along. (Note: “Camera”, “That Was Now”, and “Pieces Of The Past”, were further developed and refined during work in Chicago and on the road in North America with the Scandinavian group, Atomic, during June and July of 2004. They are included in the Vandermark 5’s upcoming double cd on Atavistic, “The Color Of Memory”). These awkward moments don’t make me proud, but Marek’s argument for including everything as it happened is a sound one – the music on these cds represents who we were and how we really played on those 5 nights in March, right or wrong. I feel very fortunate to have a document of these concerts, and to have been able to work with Jeb, Tim, Kent, and Dave for such a long and creative time. Here’s to the memory of those nights, what they represent, and to those countless glasses of buffalo grass vodka… Ken Vandermark, Chicago, February 1, 2005.



12 CD Box version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

$ 99.00
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