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Vandermark, Ken (w/ Lytton / Mori / Davis / Parker / Drake): Momentum 4: Consequent Duos 2015>2019 [ (Audiographic Records)

A limited box set collecting duo recordings featuring Ken Vandermark in collaboration with internationally and acclaimed musicians -- Kris Davis, Hamid Drake, Paul Lytton, Ikue Mori, and William Parker -- documented on 5 CDs that were recorded during performances at Vandermark's 2nd Stone residency in NYC, January 2018, and at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago.

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product information:

Limited edition of 500, hand-numbered copies.

Label: Audiographic Records
Catalog ID: AGR-016
Squidco Product Code: 28038

Format: 5CDS
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: USA
Packaging: Box Set - 5 CDs + Booklet
Recorded at Experimental Sound Studio, in Chicago, Illinois, by Alex Inglizian; and at The Stone, in New York City, New York, by Jonathan Goldberger and Randy Thaler.


Ken Vandermark-reeds

Paul Lytton-drums, percussion

Ikue Mori-laptop, electronics

Kris Davis-piano

William Parker-double bass

Hamid Drake-drums, percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"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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"Paul Lytton (born 8 March 1947, London) is an English free jazz percussionist.

Lytton began on drums at age 16. He played jazz in London in the late 1960s while taking lessons on the tabla from P.R. Desai. In 1969 he began experimenting with free improvisational music, working in a duo with saxophonist Evan Parker. After adding bassist Barry Guy, the ensemble became the Evan Parker Trio. He and Parker continued to work together into the 2000s; more recent releases include trio releases with Marilyn Crispell in 1996 (Natives and Aliens) and 1999 (After Appleby).

A founding member of the London Musicians Collective, Lytton worked extensively on the London free improvisation scene in the 1970s, and aided Paul Lovens in the foundation of the Aachen Musicians' Cooperative in 1976.

Lytton has toured North America and Japan both solo and with improvisational ensembles. In 1999, he toured with Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler, and recorded with Vandermark on English Suites. Lytton also collaborated with Jeffrey Morgan (alto & tenor saxophone), with whom he recorded the CD "Terra Incognita" Live in Cologne, Germany.

He played also on White Noise's pioneer electronic pop music album An Electric Storm in 1969."

-Wikipedia (

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"Ikue Mori moved from her native city of Tokyo to New York in 1977. She started playing drums and soon formed the seminal NO WAVE band DNA, with fellow noise pioneers Arto Lindsay and Tim Wright. DNA enjoyed legendary cult status, while creating a new brand of radical rhythms and dissonant sounds; forever altering the face of rock music.

In the mid 80's Ikue started in employ drum machines in the unlikely context of improvised music. While limited to the standard technology provided by the drum machine, she has never the less forged her own highly sensitive signature style. Through out in 90's She has subsequently collaborated with numerous improvisors throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, while continuing to produce and record her own music. 1998, She was invited to perform with Ensemble Modern as the soloist along with Zeena Parkins, and composer Fred Frith, also "One hundred Aspects of the Moon" commissioned by Roulette/Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. Ikue won the Distinctive Award for Prix Ars Electronics Digital Music category in 99.

In 2000 Ikue started using the laptop computer to expand on her already signature sound, thus broadening her scope of musical expression. 2000 commissioned by the KITCHEN ensemble, wrote and premired the piece "Aphorism" also awarded Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship. 2003 commissioned by RELACHE Ensemble to write a piece for film In the Street and premired in Philadelphia. Started working with visual played by the music since 2004. In 2005 Awarded Alphert/Ucross Residency.

Ikue received a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2006. In 2007 the Tate Modern commissioned Ikue to create a live sound track for screenings of Maya Deren's silent films. In 2008 Ikue celebrated her 30th year in NY and performed at the Japan Society. Recent commissioners include the Montalvo Arts Center and SWR German radio program and Shajah Art foundation in UAE. Current working groups include MEPHISTA with Sylvie Courvoisier and Susie Ibarra, PHANTOM ORCHARD with Zeena Parkins, project with Koichi Makigami and various ensembles of John Zorn. New duo Twindrums project with YoshimiO  workshop/lecture in various schools include University of Gothenburg, Dartmouth Collage, New England Conservatory, Mills Collage, Stanford University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago"

-Ikue Mori Website (

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"Pianist-composer Kris Davis has blossomed as one of the singular talents on the New York jazz scene, a deeply thoughtful, resolutely individual artist who offers "uncommon creative adventure," according to JazzTimes. The Vancouver-born, Brooklyn-residing Davis was dubbed one of the music's top up-and-comers in a 2012 New York Times article titled "New Pilots at the Keyboard," with the newspaper saying: "Over the past couple years in New York, one method for deciding where to hear jazz on a given night has been to track down the pianist Kris Davis." Reviewing one of the series of striking albums Davis has released over the past half-decade, the Chicago Sun-Times lauded the "sense of kaleidoscopic possibilities" in her playing and compositions.

Long favored by her peers and jazz fans in the know, Davis has earned high praise from no less than star pianist and MacArthur "Genius" Grant honoree Jason Moran, who included her in his Best of 2012 piece in Art Forum, writing: "A freethinking, gifted pianist on the scene, Davis lives in each note that she plays. Her range is impeccable; she tackles prepared piano, minimalism and jazz standards, all under one umbrella. I consider her an honorary descendant of Cecil Taylor and a welcome addition to the fold."

The newest album from Davis as a leader is Capricorn Climber (Clean Feed, 2013), with the pianist joined by kindred spirits Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone), Mat Maneri (viola), Trevor Dunn (double-bass) and Tom Rainey (drums). Davis made her debut on record as a leader with Lifespan (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2003), followed by three progressively inventive and acclaimed albums for the Fresh Sound label: the quartet discs The Slightest Shift (2006) and Rye Eclipse (2008), then the trio set Good Citizen (2010). Davis's 2011 solo piano album on Clean Feed, Aeriol Piano, appeared on Best of the Year lists in The New York Times, JazzTimes and Art Forum. Davis wrote the extraordinary arrangements for saxophonist-composer Tony Malaby's nonet project Novela, with the album Novela released by Clean Feed in 2011 and appearing on Best of the Year lists in DownBeat and JazzTimes. The pianist is also part of the collaborative Paradoxical Frog with Laubrock and drummer Tyshawn Sorey; their eponymous 2011 album on Clean Feed was included on Best of the Year lists by National Public Radio, The New York Times and All About Jazz.

In addition to her work as a leader, Davis has performed with such top figures as Paul Motian, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, John Hollenbeck, Michael Formanek and Mary Halvorson. Davis started playing piano at age 6, studying classical music through the Royal Conservatory in Canada and formulating her desire for a life in music by playing in the school jazz band at age 12. She earned a bachelor's degree in Jazz Piano from the University of Toronto and attended the Banff Centre for the Arts jazz program in 1997 and 2000. The pianist received a Canada Council grant to relocate to New York and study composition with Jim McNeely, then another to study extended piano techniques with Benoit Delbecq in Paris. She holds a master's in Classical Composition from the City College of New York, and she teaches at the School for Improvised Music.

The Jazz Gallery has given Davis a commissioning residency to write for her trio with Rainey and John Hébert to take place in May 2013, and the Shifting Foundation awarded her a grant to compose and record a large-ensemble project. About her art, JazzTimes has declared: "Davis draws you in so effortlessly that the brilliance of what she's doing doesn't hit you until the piece has slipped past." "

-Kris Davis Website (

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"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (

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"Hamid Drake (born August 3, 1955) is an American jazz drummer and percussionist. He lives in Chicago, IL but spends a great deal of time touring worldwide. By the close of the 1990s, Hamid Drake was widely regarded as one of the best percussionists in jazz and avant improvised music. Incorporating Afro-Cuban, Indian, and African percussion instruments and influence, in addition to using the standard trap set, Drake has collaborated extensively with top free-jazz improvisers. Drake also has performed world music; by the late 70s, he was a member of Foday Musa Suso's Mandingo Griot Society and has played reggae throughout his career.

Drake has worked with trumpeter Don Cherry, pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonists Pharoah Sanders, Fred Anderson, Archie Shepp and David Murray and bassists Reggie Workman and William Parker (in a large number of lineups)

He studied drums extensively, including eastern and Caribbean styles. He frequently plays without sticks; using his hands to develop subtle commanding undertones. His tabla playing is notable for his subtlety and flair. Drake's questing nature and his interest in Caribbean percussion led to a deep involvement with reggae."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:


1. Paul Lytton: ESS 1A 04:14

2. Paul Lytton: ESS 1B 07:54

3. Paul Lytton: ESS 1C 13:19

4. Paul Lytton: ESS 1D 07:48

5. Paul Lytton: ESS 1E 08:51

6. Paul Lytton: ESS 1F 05:41


1. Ikue Mori: Stone 1A 34:26

2. Ikue Mori: Stone 1B 11:22


1. Kris Davis: Stone 2A 15:46

2. Kris Davis: Stone 2B 13:04

3. Kris Davis: Stone 2C 24:39


1. William Parker: Stone 3A 20:49

2. William Parker: Stone 3B 10:17

3. William Parker: Eventual (Written for Sunny Murray) 16:34


1. Hamid Drake: ESS 2A 08:29

2. Hamid Drake: ESS 2B 04:53

3. Hamid Drake: ESS 2C 06:01

4. Hamid Drake: ESS 2D 06:15

5. Hamid Drake: ESS 2E 05:50

6. Hamid Drake: ESS 2F 09:49

7. Hamid Drake: ESS 2G 05:58
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"A collection of duo recordings featuring Ken Vandermark in collaboration with internationally renowned, and critically acclaimed, musicians: Kris Davis, Hamid Drake, Paul Lytton, Ikue Mori, and William Parker. The material is documented on 5 CDs and was recorded during performances at Vandermark's second Stone residency in New York City during January of 2018, and at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago.

The improvised music included is remarkably expansive, in terms of instrumentation, improvisational methodologies, and aesthetics. Starting with a duo studio session held at ESS in June of 2015 with British improvisational innovator and percussionist, Paul Lytton, the resulting material has a focus on speed, rhythm, texture and tension. Then the documentation shifts to a series of concert recordings made at the original Stone over the course of three nights. They move from long-form electronic and reed explorations with Ikue Mori; to acoustic dialogs between pianist Kris Davis and Vandermark that reference 20th and 21st century new music innovations; to a contemporary look at free jazz materials, involving one of the master musicians connected to that history, bassist William Parker. The entire set of music concludes with a another studio session at ESS, this time in January of 2019, and connected to one of the longest associations in Vandermark's creative career, that with drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake. Remarkably, after playing together for 25 years, this is their first duo recording.

Momentum 4: Consequent Duos 2015>2019 is beautifully designed by Fede Peñalva, who has contributed an original painting to the artwork. In addition to the 5 CDs of original music, the collection includes a 16 page, full color booklet with extensive liner notes that cover the histories and contexts involved, regarding the musicians and the recordings, as well as new photographs by Vandermark, and portrait images of Davis, Drake, Lytton, Mori, and Parker.

This is the next edition of Vandermark's work based in the States, and like the earlier releases in this series, Momentum 4: Consequent Duos 2015>2019, it is an essential report on the state of the art of improvised music, created by some of the key artists in the field."-Audiographic

"When reed player and composer Ken Vandermark launched his recording career in 1995, he did so with the deceptively titled Standards (Quinnah Records). Free improvisations with titles like "Rage for Speaking" and "A Sick Man's Dreams" indicated a different view of the agreed-upon definition. And so, it has been and has evolved, over nearly twenty-five years of creating spontaneous music, that Vandermark pushes the envelope, never content to stay at the preceding destination. He continues to challenge himself and his listeners as he does again with Momentum 4: Consequent Duos 2015>2019, an impressive five-disc box set of duo recordings.

The Momentum series has featured performances with Paal Nilssen-Love, Nate Wooley, Sylvie Courvoisier, Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri and Tom Rainey, among others. Ikue Mori and William Parker appeared in separate quartets on Momentum 1: Stone (Audiographic Records, 2016) and here both are featured in duo performances with Vandermark on disc two and four respectively. Paul Lytton (disc one) was part of the short-lived trio Cinc, the quartet, The Nows, and in a previous duo collection, all with Vandermark. Mori was also a member of The Nows. Kris Davis (disc three) and Vandermark played together on the Eric Revis Trio Crowded Solitudes (Clean Feed, 2016). Hamid Drake has been the "D" in Vandermark's DKV Trio for two decades and more than a dozen releases and appears on the final disc of Momentum 4.

Vandermark's liner notes reference the influence of 1960s improvisers from the UK on his music. Lytton joined the movement that challenged American jazz methods a short time later taking a clean-sweep approach to improvisation and helping the reed player liberate his own style. Their interaction is mesmerizing on the thirteen-minute "ESS 1C"; less of a noisy blowout than one may expect based on The Nows, it nevertheless contains astonishing free play, tempered with almost delicate touches. Two extended pieces are shared with Mori, the first exceeding a half-hour. "Stone 1A" is alien and, eerie. Mori's laptop generates waves and blurbs of sound while Vandermark strays in and out of playing decipherable notes. "Stone 2B," with Davis, is a stunning work with a beautiful bluesy melody and subdued angularity. The pair take a different tack on "Stone 2C," a percussive and gusty improvisation that ends as gently as a lullaby twenty minutes later.

The first two of three long tracks on the Parker disc are superb. The tautness and concentration of the collaboration are what a listener hopes for with two masters of the avant-garde. This half-hour of music is fresh and genuine in a way that is rare to hear. The Drake disc is broader in scope. "ESS 2A" and "ESS 2D" are wide open improvisations where Drake sets up/interacts with Vandermark's pyrotechnics, while "ESS 2B" and "ESS 2C" are minimal, sleight of hand works with nuanced and intricate playing.

You don't come to Ken Vandermark in search of tradition and overtly melodic appeal, though there is the smallest area of the Venn diagram devoted to that history. His oeuvre pays homage without the nod and wink and, Vandermark is on record acknowledging that the Williamsburg Bridge belongs to Sonny Rollins. Vandermark is a conundrum; an anarchist with a cautious respect for order; he generates theoretical storms, dissipates them, only to make them reappears over the next horizon. With Davis, Drake, Lytton, Mori, and Parker he has produced the best recording of his career with Momentum 4.

This review is based on the limited-edition CD box set. The collection is available as a digital download. The Lytton session was recorded Experimental Sound Studio in 2015 and the other duos in 2018 and 2019 at ESS and during Vandermark's residency at The Stone. The improvisations were created in real-time with each duo member except for the composition "Eventual." "-Karl Ackermann, All About Jazz

Limited edition of 500, hand-numbered copies.

Get additional information at All About Jazz
Related Categories of Interest:

Box Sets
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Ken Vandermark
Mori, Ikue
Parker, William
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