A brilliant ensemble of primarily Chicago players led by multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and with a cast including Jason Adasiewicz, Jeb Bishop, Mars Williams, Josh Berman, &c. &c., captured in two fiery live sets at Constellation, Chicago and Sugar Maple, Milwaukee in 2014.
Audio One (Vandermark/Adasiewicz/Berman/Bishop/Rempis/Williams/Mazzarrella/Daisy/Macri/Paulson)
What Thomas Bernard Saw
Label: Audiographic Records
Released in: USA
"Audio One is a continuation of Ken Vandermark's work with large groups, beginning with the now defunct Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and his own Territory Band (in its different incarnations) and the still active Europe based Resonance Ensemble. The 10 piece Audio One is a Chicago-based ensemble featuring long-term musical partners of Vandermark - trombonist Jeb Bishop, sax player Dave Rempis, and drummer Tim Daisy (all three played in the Vandermark 5), reeds player Mars Williams (who played in Chicago Tentet and plays with Vandermark in Rempis' Chicago Reeds Quartet), alto sax player Nick Mazzarella (who also plays in the Chicago Reed quartet), vibes player Jason Adasiewicz (who played on Vandermark's Impressions of PO Music, Okka Disk, 2013) and bass player Nick Macri and viola player Jen Paulson (who play with Vandermark in The Margots).
This local ensemble allows Vandermark to work on a regular basis, rehearsing, performing, and exploring new compositional ideas, unlike his other groups and ensembles, which often feature international personnel. Audio One incorporates inspiration from the modern and free jazz legacy of Chicago, corresponding with seminal work of AACM artists as Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, with funk and African music, and especially an Ethiopian influence.
Audio One's third album was recorded live at the Constellation and the Sugar Maple clubs in Chicago on two consecutive nights in August 2014. As on many Vandermark projects, the album title, as well as his compositions, are musical homages, reflections of other artist's work. The album is named after Austrian writer and poet Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989), one of the most important German-speaking authors of post world war II. The first extended piece "Doble Negacion" is dedicated to American artist Michael Heizer who specializes in large-scale installations and earth art. This piece gains momentum - power and magnitude - patiently, transforming from atmospheric vibes and strings into a skeletal, infectious pulse and then a choir of reeds erupts and sings the call-and-response theme. Mid-piece it changes course with an open-ended and chaotic reeds interplay before the group resumes its playful and rhythmic mode. The second piece, "Boxers and Dancers", is dedicated to the great Ethiopian sax player Getatchew Mekuria and to dancer and leader of the Fendika band Melaku Belay, with whom Vandermark toured and recorded. This is a funky piece that revolves around tight, addictive bass line, and its African-tinged theme is expanded and explored by the reeds choir, feeding the propulsive pulse in its turn.
The third piece, "Uitgraving" is dedicated to the Dutch-American abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), and actually is an abstract, free-associative piece. There are few segments where the powerful drumming of Daisy dictates its contemplative, fast shifting course, but mostly is is fractured between quiet, introspective solos from all the musicians, dissected by brief chaotic interplay. The fourth and last piece, "Tape", is dedicated to painter and installation artist Robert Irwin. It begins with a massive, Ethiopian-tinged reeds fanfare, soon transformed into rhythmic exploration of its moving theme, highlighting Adasiewicz's crystalline vibes sounds. When the reeds choir returns in full power, Vandermark and Bishop exchange commanding, fiery solos throughout its coda.
Strong, interesting compositions. Excellent, opinionated musicians. Passionate, committed playing, full of energy. Brilliant album."-Eyal Hareuveni
• 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 Dave Rempis
"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/)
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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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Label: Audiographic Records
Catalog ID: AGR-007
Squidco Product Code: 21582
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded and performed by Audio One in concert at Constellation, Chicago, on August 23rd, and at the Sugar Maple, Milwaukee on August 24th, 2014 by Dave Zuchowski.
Nick Macri-acoustic bass, electric bass
Nick Mazzarella-alto saxophone
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1. Doble Negacion (for Michael Heizer) 19:50
2. Boxers and Dancers (for Getachew Mekuria and Melaku Belay) 15:00
3. Uitgraving (for Willem de Kooning) 17:44
4. Tape (for Robert Irwin) 17:59