In 2000, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and curator John Corbett organized a 16-piece free music big-band featuring key members of the Chicago and Swedish scenes, recording these two impressive, ecstatic, and explosive works.
Vandermark / Gregorio / Bishop / Morris / &c
Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Released in: USA
"In 2000, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and curator John Corbett organized a 16-piece free music big-band, featuring key members of the Chicago and Swedish scenes. The ensemble debuted in Chicago, playing and recording two compositions that had been commissioned, "Codeine Picasso" by Ken Vandermark, and "In This Very Room" by Fredrik Ljungkvist.
Soon thereafter, the musicians convened in Sweden for a tour of the country that ended at the legendary Stockholm club Fasching. Gustafsson had intended for the music to be issued on his label Crazy Wisdom, which existed for a short, beautiful moment as an imprint of Swedish Universal. Indeed, the recording of Pipeline was mixed and mastered, but the label pulled the plug on Crazy Wisdom just before the release, and it sat dormant for more than a decade.
Listening to it again, the music has all the power and originality it did when it was recorded, at the crest of a wave in Chicagoan creative music history. A panoramic group, Pipeline included the Konitz-inflected sax and clarinet of Guillermo Gregorio, the spiky guitar of David Stackenäs, the percussion thicket of Michael Zerang, Raymond Strid and Kjell Nordeson, and Jim Baker's unearthly ARP synthesizer sounds, all mixed into an ecstatic, explosive Scanda-Chicagoan spread - a veritable smörgåsm."-Corbett vs. Dempsey
• 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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• Show Bio for Percy Pursglove
"After graduating from the Birmingham Conservatoire's BMus(Hons) Jazz course with first class honours, I received a scholarship to study on the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at the New School University, New York City. During my time living in New York I performed with ensembles including The Duke Ellington Orchestra at Birdland, The Coltrane ensemble and the Rene Marie Big Band at Town Hall, and with Matt Brewer and Tommy Crane at The Knitting Factory.
I am now working as a freelance Jazz musician/composer/arranger/recording artist (Trumpet/Double Bass) Since 2005 I have been lecturing in Jazz at the Birmingham Conservatoire senior and junior departments, I also have a roles as director of the National Youth Jazz Wales, tutor for National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland/National Youth Jazz Collective, music for youth mentor and improvisation clinician for Wales Music Teachers Federation.
I am also the artistic co-director of Harmonic Festival, producing and promoting two successful and adventurous jazz festivals in Birmingham in recent years.
I have featured in a number of performances aired on BBC Radio's Jazz on Three including live concerts with Alex Hawkins, Peter Evans, Paul Dunmall, Elliott Sharpe and a number of radio and televised concerts with the WDR Radio Big Band, Koln. I was a featured in Jazzwise magazine's 'Taking Off' interview. Recent musical highlights include performing Gil Evans Sketches of Spain with the Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz Orchestra and playing Trumpet for Evan Parker's 70th birthday celebration, Kings Place.
Some of the most prominent artists I have performed and recorded with include:
Claudia Quintet, Food with Thomas Stronen/Iain Ballamy, Bill Frissell, Paul Dunmall, Peter Evans, Jon Irabagon, Hans Koller, Dan Weiss, Matt Brewer, Michael Gibbs, Thomas Morgan, John Hollenbeck, Mark Dresser, Victor Bailey, Drew Gress, Ben Monder, Phil Woods, Claudio Roditi, Jeff Williams, Chris Speed, Matt Mitchell, Evan Parker, Jakob Bro, Elliott Sharpe, Vince Mendoza, Peter Erskine, Django Bates, Steve Swallow, Chris Potter, John O'gallagher, Gerald Clayton, John Clayton, Dave Liebman, Dave Holland and Norma Winstone.
For the past twelve months, I have also been a Jazzlines/Jerwood Foundation fellow, hosted at Town Hall-Symphony Hall Birmingham. This has allowed me to compose a new work written for octet and eight-voice choir - 'Far Reaching Dreams of Mortal Souls' - based on speeches and associated works of iconic figures through history. This will premiere in October, where I will perform alongside Julian Arguelles, Paul Clarvis, Hans Koller, Michael Janisch, James Allsop, Jim Rattigan plus choir.
I hold honorary membership (Hons BC) to the Birmingham Conservatoire in recognition of services to music."-Percy Pursglove Website (http://www.percypursglove.com/about/)
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• Show Bio for Joe Morris
"Joe Morris was born in New Haven, Connecticut on September 13, 1955. At the age of 12 he took lessons on the trumpet for one year. He started on guitar in 1969 at the age of 14. He played his first professional gig later that year. With the exception of a few lessons he is self-taught. The influence of Jimi Hendrix and other guitarists of that period led him to concentrate on learning to play the blues. Soon thereafter his sister gave him a copy of John Coltrane's OM, which inspired him to learn about Jazz and New Music. From age 15 to 17 he attended The Unschool, a student-run alternative high school near the campus of Yale University in downtown New Haven. Taking advantage of the open learning style of the school he spent most of his time day and night playing music with other students, listening to ethnic folk, blues, jazz, and classical music on record at the public library and attending the various concerts and recitals on the Yale campus. He worked to establish his own voice on guitar in a free jazz context from the age of 17. Drawing on the influence of Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor,Thelonius Monk, Ornette Coleman as well as the AACM, BAG, and the many European improvisers of the '70s. Later he would draw influence from traditional West African string music, Messian, Ives, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Lyons, Steve McCall and Fred Hopkins. After high school he performed in rock bands, rehearsed in jazz bands and played totally improvised music with friends until 1975 when he moved to Boston.
Between 1975 and 1978 he was active on the Boston creative music scene as a soloist as well as in various groups from duos to large ensembles. He composed music for his first trio in 1977. In 1980 he traveled to Europe where he performed in Belgium and Holland. When he returned to Boston he helped to organize the Boston Improvisers Group (BIG) with other musicians. Over the next few years through various configurations BIG produced two festivals and many concerts. In 1981 he formed his own record company, Riti, and recorded his first LpWraparound with a trio featuring Sebastian Steinberg on bass and Laurence Cook on drums. Riti records released four more LPs and CDs before 1991. Also in 1981 he began what would be a six year collaboration with the multi-instrumentalist Lowell Davidson, performing with him in a trio and a duo. During the next few years in Boston he performed in groups which featured among others; Billy Bang, Andrew Cyrille, Peter Kowald, Joe McPhee, Malcolm Goldstein, Samm Bennett, Lawrence "Butch" Morris and Thurman Barker. Between 1987 and 1989 he lived in New York City where he performed at the Shuttle Theater, Club Chandelier, Visiones, Inroads, Greenwich House, etc. as well as performing with his trio at the first festival Tea and Comprovisation held at the Knitting Factory.
In 1989 he returned to Boston. Between 1989 and 1993 he performed and recorded with his electric trio Sweatshop and electric quartet Racket Club. In 1994 he became the first guitarist to lead his own session in the twenty year history of Black Saint/Soulnote Records with the trio recording Symbolic Gesture. Since 1994 he has recorded for the labels ECM, Hat Hut, Leo, Incus, Okka Disc, Homestead, About Time, Knitting Factory Works, No More Records, AUM Fidelity and OmniTone and Avant. He has toured throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe as a solo and as a leader of a trio and a quartet. Since 1993 he has recorded and/or performed with among others; Matthew Shipp, William Parker, Joe and Mat Maneri, Rob Brown, Raphe Malik, Ivo Pearlman, Borah Bergman, Andrea Parkins, Whit Dickey, Ken Vandermark, DKV Trio, Karen Borca, Eugene Chadborne, Susie Ibarra, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell, Roy Campbell Jr., John Butcher, Aaly Trio, Hamid Drake, Fully Celebrated Orchestra and others.
He began playing acoustic bass in 2000 and has since performed with cellist Daniel Levin, Whit Dickey and recorded with pianist Steve Lantner.
He has lectured and conducted workshops trroughout the US and Europe. He is a former member of the faculty of Tufts University Extension College and is currently on the faculty at New England Conservatory in the jazz and improvisation department. He was nominated as Best Guitarist of the year 1998 and 2002 at the New York Jazz Awards."-Joe Morris Website (http://www.joe-morris.com/biography.html)
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• Show Bio for Jim Baker
"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)
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• Show Bio for Johan Berthling
"Johan Berthling (* 1973 in Stockholm ) is a Swedish jazz and improvisational musician ( contrabass , electric bass , also piano ).
Berthling studied at the Royal Music College in Stockholm from 1996-1998 . Since then, he has worked in the Swedish and international jazz and improvisation scene in various ensembles including David Stackenäs , Raymond Strid , Fredrik Ljungkvist , Sten Sandell , Paal Nilssen-Love , Akira Sakata , Mats Gustafsson , Jonas Kullhammar and the Christer Bothén Acoustic Ensemble. In the field of jazz, he was involved in 23 recording sessions between 1996 and 2014. He also worked with folkmusicist and songwriter Nicolai Dunger ( roasting och herren , 2007)."-Wikipedia translated by Google (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johan_Berthling)
^ Hide Bio for Johan Berthling
• Show Bio for Michael Zerang
"Michael Zerang was born in Chicago, Illinois, and is a first-generation American of Assyrian decent. He has been a professional musician, composer, and producer since 1976, focusing extensively on improvised music, free jazz, contemporary composition, puppet theater, experimental theater, and international musical forms.
Michael has collaborated with contemporary theater, dance, and other multidisciplinary forms and has received three Joseph Jefferson Awards for Original Music Composition in Theater, in collaboration with Redmoon Theater, in 1996, 1998, and 2000.
As a percussionist and composer, Michael has over eighty titles in his discography and has toured nationally and internationally to 34 countries since 1981, and works with and ever-widening pool of collaborators.
Michael founded and was the artistic director of the Link's Hall Performance Series in Chicago from 1985-1989 where he produced over 300 concerts of jazz, traditional ethnic folk music, electronic music, and other forms of forward thinking music. Michael has been a Board Member of Links Hall Since 1989. He continued to produce concerts at Cafe Urbus Orbis from 1994-1996, and at his own space, The Candlestick Maker in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, from 2001 - 2005.
Michael has taught as a guest artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in performance technique, sound design, and sound/music as it relates to puppetry; rhythmic analysis for dancers at The Dance Center of Columbia College, Northwestern University, and MoMing Dance and Arts Center; courses in Composer/Choreographer Collaborations at Northwestern University; music to children at The Jane Adams Hull House.
Michael currently tours and holds workshops in improvisational music, and teaches private lessons in rhythmic analysis, music composition, and percussion technique.-Michael Zerang Website (http://www.michaelzerang.com/)
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Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Label: Corbett vs. Dempsey
Catalog ID: CvsD CD010
Squidco Product Code: 18180
Packaging: Cardstock 3 page foldover
Recorded by John McCortney at Airwave Studios, Chicago between September 2nd and 6th, 2000.
Ken Vandermark-clarinet, tenor saxophone
Fredrik Ljungkvist-clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
Guillermo Gregorio-clarinet, alto saxophone
Per-Äke Holmlander, tuba
Jim Baker-ARP synthesizer, piano
Michael Zerang-drums, percussion
Raymond Strid-drums, percussion
Kjell Nordeson-drums, vibes, percussion
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1. Codeine Picasso 33:53
2. In This Very Room 29:50