Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ken Vandermark, et. al. - Resonance (Not Two, 2009)

Continuing the evening jam sessions at the Alchemia club in Krakow, Poland, disc three of this ten disc box features a set with Michael Zerang on drums, Mikolaj Trzaska on alto saxophone and bass clarinet, Mark Tokar on bass and Yuriy Yaremchuk tenor and soprano saxes and clarinet. They warm up quickly with a very exciting and caustic uptempo improvisation, that is played with blazing speed. The second piece (all of which are unnamed free improvisations) digs even deeper over the course of a twenty four minute improvisation. Starting with a slow buildup of probing saxophones which creates an open soundscape, the music builds to a wonderfully exciting fast pace with Trzaska and Yaremchuk swirling around each other like acrobats over rolling bass and drum accompaniment. The second set of this disc features Tim Daisy on drums, Dave Rempis tenor and alto saxophones, Magnus Broo on trumpet and Michael Zerang drums. They open with trumpet and deeply toned saxophone setting a strong and spacious vibe. Broo adds some powerful clarion calls almost like a jazz call to arms and Rempis responds beautifully with a potent freely improvised saxophone solo. The groups returns together for a collectively improvised section before taking the tune out. A couple of shorter improvisations round out a very exciting and spontaneously improvised performances. The magic of these jam sessions is in bringing in musicians who weren't that familiar with each other before this project began, and allowing them the chance to get to know each other musically. It's fascinating to hear how the musicians react to each other and how the music responds to their own individual strengths. Each of the musicians taking part in this project was interviewed for the liner notes and it is interesting to read their responses to the music and how it evolved. Resonance -

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