The quartet of Ken Vandermark on saxes, Christof Kurzmann on electronics, Devin Hoff on bass and Tim Daisy on drums trace women's influence on contemporary art, especially music, painting and photography, through 3 incredible examples of modern jazz.
Made to Break
Cherchez la Femme
Label: Trost Records
Released in: Austria
"Conceived in 2011, the electric/acoustic ensemble Made To Break has had the opportunity to tour and evolve as an improvising unit. The result, their third disc recorded in 2013, Cherchez La Femme reveals a truly engaged band. That statement wouldn't be unexpected if we were talking about a rock group or a jazz band for that matter, but Made To Break is a working improvisational group.
Credit, of course, goes to master organizer Ken Vandermark, a saxophonist who has the ability to attract diverse musicians into new and interesting settings. His recent passion for electronics, funk, reggae, and rock composing have created the groups Spaceways Inc., Fire Room, and Powerhouse Sound. Made To Break introduces those sounds into free jazz by intermingling the above ingredients with his conception of modular composition.
His journey into this music has led to this distinctive quartet. Drummer Tim Daisy has been a co-collaborator since the Vandermark 5 days, and can he heard with Vandermark in duo and also with the large Resonance Ensemble with bassist Devin Hoff. The wildcard here is the electronic machinations of Christof Kurzmann. He first worked with Vandermark on the recording El Infierno Musical (Mikroton, 2011). His realtime manipulations via a software program called lloopp elevate his contribution to fellow improvising musician. In other words, unlike a DJ, he doesn't just comment on the proceedings, he participates.
Where the previous Clean Feed discs, Lacerba (2013) Provoke (2013) were made at the ensemble's inception, Cherchez La Femme boosts a fully integrated sound. The three lengthy pieces, all dedicated to women artists from photographers, painters, actor Bette Davis, and the riot grrrl punk band Sleater Kinney, ebb and flow from rocked-out funk to crackling electronic sizzle.
"Sans Serif" opens in duo with Daisy and Vandermark for four minutes before Hoff enters with a pulse that resolves into Kurzmann's electric insect infestation. His sonic disruptions seemingly push the music outside of composition, but a closer listen and his rumble, hum, and static offerings reveal them to be a musical accelerant. He can sample and loop notes by Vandermark, as he does on "Capital Black" creating a mirrored partner or mash-up to the thunder of Hoff's electric bass. The music shapeshifts several times within each track. Daisy's attentive ear is always at the ready for change as he drives the full swing of each piece.
The quartet is equally at home with open form improvisation and down home funk, this makes for ethereal improvisation that you can dance about."-Mark Corroto, All About JazzAlso available on CD.
• Show Bio for Tim Daisy
"Tim Daisy (percussion) has been an active member of Chicago' s creative music scene since moving there in 1997. He has performed, composed, recorded, and toured with many of the city's celebrated musicians and ensembles, including the Engines, KLANG, the Rempis Percussion Quartet, the Resonance Ensemble, and the Vandermark 5. In addition, Tim maintains an active composing schedule, writing for his own bands (such as Vox Arcana and Group 4-34) as well as contributing music to a number of collaborative projects- including chamber groups, jazz ensembles, dance, and film. He has had the fortunate experience to perform and record with many great improvisers both from around the world, including: Fred Anderson, Jim Baker, Jeb Bishop, Magnus Broo, Xavier Charles, James Falzone, Erik Friedlander, Per-Ake Homlander, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nate McBride, Joe McPhee, Dave Rempis, Steve Swell, Mikolaj Trzaska, Havard Wiik, Waclaw Zimpel, and Michael Zerang. Besides a regular concert schedule in Chicago, Tim has toured throughout North America and Europe, and has performed at numerous international music festivals."-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
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• Show Bio for Devin Hoff
"Devin Hoff is a double-bassist, bass guitarist, guitarist and songwriter. He began playing music seriously at age 15, and has continued to do so ever since, foregoing college as he was already working at his chosen profession. Torn between the visceral energies of punk and metal and the spiritual freedom of free jazz in his youth, he has spent the last 20-plus years exploring the resonance and dissonance of these musical tendencies. Devin has played and recorded with many musicians and bands over the years, including Carla Bozulich, Nels Cline, Vijay Iyer, Carla Kihlstedt, Joshua Redman, Kira Roessler, Mike Watt, and Xiu Xiu. His main creative vehicles of the past decade or so are the "crust jazz" bass/drums duo Good For Cows (with drummer Ches Smith) and his ongoing solo bass project, The Devin Hoff Platform. He also plays under a pseudonym in various crust punk and metal projects."-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
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• Show Bio for Ken Vandermark
"Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Ken Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990's onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Devin Hoff, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Paul Lytton, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, The Resonance Ensemble, Side A, Lean Left, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, and duos with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tim Daisy; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999 he was awarded the MacArthur prize for music."-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
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Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
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Label: Trost Records
Catalog ID: TROST 127CD
Squidco Product Code: 18710
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded by Christoph Amann on March 11, 2014 at Amann Studios, Vienna.
Devin Hoff-bass 6
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1. Sans Serif - For Betty Davis and Sleater Kinney 14:06
2. Capital Black - For Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell 18:23
3. The Other Lottery - For Helen Levitt and Susan Meiselas 14:14