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The result of a three day series of concerts by Ken Vandermark's new project with electronicist Christoff Kurzmann, electric bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Tim Daisy, taking new directions by following the principles of "modular organization".

Made to Break (Daisy / Hoff / Kurzmann / Vandermark)

Made to Break (Daisy / Hoff / Kurzmann / Vandermark): Provoke (Clean Feed)
Label: Clean Feed    
Released in: Portugal    

"Simultaneously released with the LP Lacerba, Provoke is the result of a three day series of concerts, by a Ken Vandermark's new project, during the commemoration, in Lisbon, of the 10th anniversary of the label Clean Feed. This is it: Made to Break, a quartet shared with electronicist Christoff Kurzmann, electric bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Tim Daisy. "New", here, means literally a different approach from the many others tried and accomplished by the Chicagoan saxophonist and clarinetist, even if there's connections with some aspects of the explorations signed by FME, Frame Quartet and Spaceways Inc.

There's one main principle followed, and this is named "modular organization". It consists in the tactical combination of distinct defined modules in always changing compositions, or "comp-improvisations" to be exact, because the purpose is to apply an alternative writing for improvisers. "I'm trying to move further outside of "jazz resources and aesthetics" and to utilize different sources of rhythmic/melodic ideas inspired from other genres of music I'm interested in (funk, rock, European free improvisation and the New York School of composition - Cage, Feldman, Wolff, Brown) in order to find new ways to organize compositional material", says Vandermark.Some modules are groovy oriented, others get more abstract and disjointed, and others still have an ambient feeling, interconnecting as if a puzzle is being formed. The criteria: "Modular organization allows me to reshape the structure of the music from its components at each performance, and in addition it allows the musicians to improvise sub-structures based on these components because all the members of the band can immediately hear how someone else is referring to the composed elements or is reinventing them. It's a fluid basis of cause and effect between composition and improvisation, but one that can invert this "hierarchy" so that the spontaneous music creates a force that affects the pre-determined elements." Comparing "Provoke" to "Lacerba", you may recognize the thematic supports, but the way they're sequenced and interpreted varies. "The paths between the written components are never permanent, and this creates a situation where the improvising is almost forced to invent new ways of responding to the composed sections", explains Ken Vandermark. In consequence, what we have is two versions of a never ending process in which "the shift in trajectories have an impact in the improvisation".

Why this kind of strategies, considering that in a jazz context the composer is already writing music for improvisers? Because times changed: "What I am trying to do is ask questions about what this process means now, not based on forms or aesthetics that were in many cases developed before I was born. And the answers I'm finding to these questions are leading me further away from jazz conventions for composition, and toward structures that create more risk and spontaneity, more responsibility, for the improviser. "

So, here are two aspects of a more flexible "jazz" in the beginning of the 21st century, with a higher level of openness, certainly, but going even further. "What we're really talking about is developing a new set of languages for improvisers. In some cases things are more open, but sometimes things are more confrontational, more deconstructed, more antagonistic, more restricted - all in an effort to expand the possibilities for composition and improvisation", concludes Ken Vandermark.

In other words: if you miss this very surprising and committed CD, you'll miss a part of the future in construction..."-Clean Feed Records

"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 (

"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 (

"Christof Kurzmann (vocals, lloopp, clarinet, alto sax), is an Austrian musician, performer, composer currently living in Buenos Aires. Beginning in 1994 he started his work in the field of experimental electronic music. Since that time Christof has collaborated with some of the most significant artists working in contemporary music and improvisation- including Toto Alvarez, Martin Brandlmayr, John Butcher, Eden Carrasco, Sebi Ciurcina, Werner Dafeldecker, Kai Fagaschinski, Fernanda Farrah, Bernhard Fleischmann, Michaela Grill, Margareth Kammerer, Leonel Kaplan, Bernhard Lang, Andrea Neumann, Fernando Perales, Eva Reiter, Marina Rosenfeld, Ursula Rucked, Burkhard Stangl, Michael Thieke, and Clayton Thomas- in groups such as El Infierno Musical, The Magic I.D., and Schee. During the course of his career, Christof has performed throughout Europe, Japan, North and South Amercia. He has also been a music curator since the mid 1980's, and in 1999 founded the record label, Charhizma, which has released more than 30 cds."

- (Ken Vandermark Website)

"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 (

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Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Ken Vandermark
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Clean Feed

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Price: $14.95
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Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

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Product Information:

UPC: 5609063002737

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 273
Squidco Product Code: 17489

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded in concert by Joao Serigado at TBC, Lisbon, on November 17th and 19th, 2011.


Tim Daisy-drums

Devin Hoff-electric bass

Christof Kurzmann-Lloopp

Ken Vandermark-reeds

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Track Listing:

1. Further (for John Cage) 23:35

2. presentation (for Buckminster Fuller) 20:07

3. of the facts. (for Marshall McLuhan) 19:13

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