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Territory Band-1
Transatlantic Bridge

Territory Band-1: Transatlantic Bridge (Okka)
Label: Okka    
Released in: USA    


"Territory Band is a Ken Vandermark project, utilizing eight musicians and allowing him the opportunity to "spread out" a bit, both in compositional style and in deeper investigations of free improvisations within a larger group. Transatlantic Bridge features four longish compositions (each dedicated to a visual artist), with the first two falling into a more jazz-like group and the latter two edging into riskier areas. "Collage" almost sounds like an Archie Shepp piece from the late '60s, its brief, staccato theme offering the vaguest hints for the subsequent solos, though everyone handles themselves with a boisterous confidence. In "RM," Vandermark aims for a balance between composition and improv, but the result shows just how tricky and elusive this goal can be. Sparse and meandering, the piece never quite creates a convincing sound world, possibly due in part to its reluctance to completely abandon jazz phraseology for a non-idiomatic approach, instead inhabiting an in-between zone where neither case is made convincingly. But he redeems himself entirely with the final two cuts. Possibly stealing a page from the Barry Guy playbook, "Mobile" begins with a lovely, hymn-like theme that dissolves beautifully into breath tones from the astonishing German trumpeter Axel Dörner followed by equally fine percussive washes from Paul Lytton (two musicians imported across the Atlantic on the strength, presumably, of Vandermark's MacArthur grant). The theme gently bobs to the surface throughout, as naturally as a tide, and is integrated seamlessly into the improv -- an impressive performance. "Stabile" takes the reverse tack, though with equal success, beginning with abstract bass and percussion explorations before coalescing into the forceful theme, then led out again into the wilderness by altoist Dave Rempis. Here they delve into free, raging jazz with full force and conviction, the drum tandem and bassist Kent Kessler in outstanding form, the written horn lines behind the explosive soloing solid and imaginative. Transatlantic Bridge is a key document in Vandermark's career and pointed toward an increasingly wide area for this "territory band" to explore."-Brian Olewnick, All Music



"Lasse Marhaug (b. 1974) has since the early 1990s been one of the most active artists in the Norwegian noise/experimental music scene. As a performer and composer he has contributed to well over 300 CD, vinyl and cassette releases over the years, as well as extensive touring and performing live on all continents of the world. In addition to his solo work, Marhaug has collaborated with several artists in the fields of noise, experimental, improv, jazz, rock and extreme metal, as well as working with music and sound for theatre, dance, installations, film and video. In the mid-90s Marhaug started TWR Tapes (still going) and Jazzassin Records (ended 2001). In the 2000s he started the record labels Pica Disk and Prisma Records. In 2011 he started his own print publishing called Marhaug Forlag. He has also been active as an organizer, promoter and producer. Marhaug was born in the northern regions above the arctic circle of Norway, but currently lives in Oslo."

-Lasse Marhaug Website (http://lassemarhaug.no/biography/)
2/15/2017

"Paal Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway, Dec 24. 1974, and raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents. It was natural to choose his fathers drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In many ways, these collaborations were essential as they pointed out the directions for Paal's later musical development and career. During his studies at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim, where the first self initiated bands were established, things developed really fast - and Paal was nationally acknowledged at the age of 20.

The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Håkon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He later on got more into self initiated projects and collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.

Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work: "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going". His solo album "Sticks and stones" was put out in 2001 on SOFA Rec.

Being active in several bands at the same time has always been Paal's deliberate working method. He is constantly conscious about the projects he is in, as his participation in each and one of them is fully dedicated. Playing is not about getting from start to goal, but rather being in an everlasting process, a continuous movement where each new piece of music performed is a prolongation of the latest. Hence, keeping focused and concentrating all energy around what's happening there and then is of greatest importance - as is the freedom in the music, the ability of being free within the expression.

All bands, although various styles and musical versatility in general, represent important pieces that make up a total, and all bands are formed or joined with a clear vision. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. And not to forget the recently joined Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet."

-Paal Nilssen-Love Website (http://www.paalnilssen-love.com/biography.php)
2/15/2017

"Jim Baker was born in Chicago a number of years ago and has been playing in and around Chicago and elsewhere in the world for a few decades, mostly on piano and analog synthesizer; mostly in improvisational contexts; in situations involving, amongst others, Fred Anderson, Ken Vandermark, Michael Zerang, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt, Edward WIlkerson Jr, David Boykin, Rob Mazurek, Guillermo Gregorio, Nicole Mitchell, Vincent Davis, the Thing XXL, Tortoise, Dave Rempis, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Paul Hartsaw, Janet Bean, Damon Short, and numerous others.

For a number of years, Mr Baker was the house pianist at the weekly jam sessions at Fred Anderson's Velvet Lounge; and for most of the past decade, has played weekly with the improvising quartet Extraordinary Popular Delusions (the other three Delusions: Messrs. Williams, Sandstrom, & Hunt) , who currently play nearly every monday night at Beat Kitchen in Chicago."

-Milk Factory Productions (http://www.milkfactoryproductions.com/Jim_Baker.html)
2/15/2017

"Dave Rempis was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts on March 24th, 1975. He began his musical studies at the age of 8, inspired by a family friend who played clarinet in local Greek bands, and by Zoot, of the Muppets Band, to pick up saxophone. During high school he performed in his town, district, and all-state bands and wind ensembles, as well as in a jazz combo at a local music school.

In 1993, Rempis began a degree in classical saxophone at Northwestern University with Frederick Hemke. Finding this environment stifling, Rempis quickly ditched the music degree to pursue studies in anthropology and ethnomusicology. As part of these studies, he spent a year at the International Centre for African Music and Dance at the University of Ghana, Legon, studying African music and ethnomusicology. He also continued to perform with many different types of groups, ranging from highlife and reggae bands while in Ghana, to jazz, free jazz, funk, and contemporary music ensembles at home. He graduated from Northwestern in 1997.

Upon graduating, Rempis decided to focus on performing, and in March of 1998 at the age of 22 was asked to replace veteran saxophonist Mars Williams in the well-known Chicago jazz outfit The Vandermark Five. This opportunity catapulted him to notoriety as he began to tour regularly throughout the US and Europe playing clubs, concert halls, and festivals on both continents.

During his tenure with The Vandermark Five, Rempis also began to develop the many Chicago-based groups and international collaborations for which he's currently known, including The Rempis Percussion Quartet, The Engines, Ballister, Rempis/Abrams/Ra, Wheelhouse, The Rempis/Rosaly Duo, and The Rempis/Daisy Duo. Many of these groups have been documented on the Okkadisk, 482 Music, Not Two, Clean Feed, Solitaire, and Utech record labels. Past collaborations have included performances with Paul Lytton, Axel Dörner, Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Steve Swell, John Tchicai, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson, Kevin Drumm, Paal Nilssen-Love, Nels Cline, Tony Buck, and Joe McPhee. Rempis has been named regularly since 2006 in the annual Downbeat Critics's Poll as a "rising star" on alto saxophone, and as a "rising star" and "established talent" on baritone saxophone.

Aside from performing, Rempis is also active as a presenter. Since 2002, he's curated a weekly Thursday-night concert series for the Elastic Arts Foundation. The series has featured over 500 concerts by some of the best improvisers from around the world, while maintaining a focus on up-and-coming local musicians. In late 2005, Rempis helped form the presenters' collective Umbrella Music, working with a small group of musicians and presenters in Chicago to provide better playing opportunities for creative and improvising musicians. As part of this group, he organized the annual Umbrella Music Festival from 2006-2014.

Rempis is also one of the main organizers of the indie-rock Pitchfork Music Festival, a 60,000-person event which takes place in Chicago's Union Park every July."

-Dave Rempis Website (http://daverempis.com/bio/)
2/15/2017

"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/)
2/15/2017





Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Jazz
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Okka
May 2007
Ken Vandermark
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Paal Nilssen-Love
Jeb Bishop



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Product Information:

Label: Okka
Catalog ID: 12040
Squidco Product Code: 8127

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2001
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel tray, not sealed.
Recorded Februaryt 3, 4, 2000 at Airwave Studios, Chicago by John McCortney

Personnel:

Jeb Bishop-trombone

Axel Dörner-trumpets

Lasse Marhaug-electronics

Paul Lytton-percussion

Paal Nilssen-Love-percussion

Jim Baker-Piano

Fredrik Ljungkvist-saxophones, clarinet

Dave Rempis-saxophones

Ken Vandermark-saxophones, clarinets

Kent Kessler-bass

Fred Lonberg-Holm-cello

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Track Listing:

1. Collage Vandermark 14:36

2. RM Vandermark 21:24

3. Mobile Vandermark 17:24

4. Stabile Vandermark 18:27