Tag Archives: Christof Kurzmann

Gapplegate Music review by Grego Edwards

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade to Break – Provoke (CF 273)
Made to Break moves mountains. Virtual mountains. With sound. Music. It’s Ken Vandermark’s new group, who improvise around structures in ways Ken has devised but there is no need to go into exactly how in this space. The liner notes to today’s release explain. Ken’s lately been influenced by punk rock and Ethiopian music and in some ways that gets in here.

There is a combination of electro-acoustic sounds (Cristof Kurzmann) and instrumentalists (Tim Daisy, drums, Ken on reeds and Devin Hoff, electric bass).

Provoke (Clean Feed 273) is a nice set with three long numbers recorded live in Lisbon. The band gets a full chance to find their maximum level of expression and they surely do.

This is avant improv that swells, rocks, grooves and explodes in very nice ways. Hoff plays electric bass in a foundational but innovative way. He’s excellent, with a big sound. Tim Daisy is a drummer who can go anywhere and do it with his own kind of authority. He does. Ken you I am sure know and he is strong and unpredictable as always. Christof’s electro-acoustics add plenty of color and a thickening texture, at times sounding like more than one voice, which of course is what you can do with such possibilities, and he does it all well.

This set is an adventure and a challenge–to be free, to be more than acoustic, to be big in sound and to be small too in contrast. It’s a hip outing. Out with hippening happening.

Add this to your Maestro Vandermark corpus and you will be glad you did. I am!
http://gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.pt/2014/03/ken-vandermark-made-to-break-provoke.html

Advertisements

Tomajazz reviews by Pachi Tapiz

Clean Feed: en trío y en cuarteto
Tríos y cuartetos forman la oferta del sello portugués Clean Feed en su segunda entrega del año 2013. Propuestas mayoritariamente libre improvisadas en las que se muestran las múltiples caras, los múltiples enfoques que ofrece la creación instantánea.

CF 276El baterista Harris Eisenstadt publica The Destructive Element (CF 276) con su formación September Trio. El saxofonista Ellery Eskelin y la pianista Angelica Sanchez son sus acompañantes nuevamente. Eisenstadt, que durante los últimos años está mostrando ser un gran compositor, es el autor de los nueve temas. Estos resultan muy variados en su suavidad (“Swimming, then Rained Out”), su carácter melancólico (el precioso “Cascadia”), su oscuridad (“Ordinary Weirdness”), su crispación (“Here Are the Samurai”) o su aproximación a la clásica contemporánea (“From Schoenberg”). Ellery Eskelin, y sobre todo Angelica Sanchez son unos magníficos compañeros de viaje.

CF 272El trío formado por la francesa Sophie Agnel (piano), y los británicos John Edwards (contrabajo) y Steve Noble (batería) realiza una interesantísima inmersión en la libre improvisación en Meteo (CF 272). El disco, grabado en el festival del mismo nombre en Mulhouse (Francia), en agosto de 2012, incluye una única pieza de 38 minutos. Una decisión de edición, ya que igualmente podría haber sido troceada en múltiples temas. En las distintas partes los tres músicos muestran una capacidad de diálogo y de invención sencillamente asombrosas. Su música pasa por fases ambientales, abstractas, libres, intensas y suaves. También por el silencio, del que el trío renace mostrando nuevas caras de su capacidad para interactuar. Semejante discurso está al alcance de muy pocos.

CF 277City Of Asylum (CF 277) aparece editado a nombre del contrabajista Eric Revis (Branford Marsalis, Tabarby), aunque igualmente podría haberlo sido a nombre del trío Revis – (Kris) Davis – (Andrew) Cyrille. Salvo un tema de Revis (“Question), uno de Jarrett (“Prayer”) y el monkiano “Gallop’s Gallop”, los seis restantes son unas improvisaciones del trío que por momentos parecen composiciones salidas del papel pautado. Andrew Cyrille es toda una institución en la batería, algo de lo que deja muestras más que evidentes. Kris Davis, una de las mejores pianistas de la actualidad, brilla de principio a fin. Eric Revis es el titular de la grabación, pero únicamente de un modo nominal ya que el peso de la grabación se reparte equilibradamente entre los tres músicos, creando una obra con una coherencia musical sobresaliente.

CF 271Mirage (CF 271) es una grabación de improvisaciones en trío de Ellery Eskelin (saxo), Michael Formanek (contrabajo) y Susan Alcorn (pedal Steel gitar, instrumento habitual en la música country). En los temas más breves el disco transcurre mayoritariamente tranquilo y a medio tiempo, buscando y encontrando melodías. Esa contención (no tanto en la música sino en la duración) se rompe con el extenso “Downburst” (27 minutos), en el que el grupo no es capaz de mostrar mucho más de lo que logra en cada uno de los temas del resto del disco con duraciones de entre tres y cinco minutos.

CF 267Birthmark (CF 267) de la saxofonista danesa Lotte Anker y la fantástica pareja de músicos portugueses formada por Rodrigo Pinheiro (piano) y Hernani Faustino (contrabajo) es un toma y daca de gran intensidad, una sucesión musical llena de tensiones improvisadas, silencios y melodías crispadas muy bien resueltas. Por medio de estos músicos, y otros como el saxofonista Rodrigo Amado, el baterista Gabriel Ferrandini o la trompetista Susana Santos Silva la escena de la improvisación portuguesa demuestra una vitalidad envidiable.

CF 275Precisamente Susana Santos Silva es un tercio de LAMA, que completan Gonçalo Almeida (contrabajo) y Greg Smith (batería). Para Lamaçal (CF 275), su segunda grabación, registrada en directo en el portugués Portalegre Jazz Festival, contaron con la colaboración del saxofonista Chris Speed. Gonçalo Almeida es el autor de cuatro composiciones, mientras que Santos Silva, Almeida y Speed aportan una cada uno. “Anemona”, “Cachalote” o “Moby Dick” (nada que ver con la exhibición de John Bonham de los Led Zeppelin) son algunos de los momentos más logrados. En todos sus temas es tan importante la improvisación como la estructura sobre la que esta se desarrolla, la utilización ortodoxa de los instrumentos como la capacidad de explorar sus posibilidades sonoras.

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOCon Made To Break el saxofonista Ken Vandermark retoma y aúna las sendas abiertas con Spaceways Inc. (que posteriormente desarrolló con Powerhouse Sound) y FME (Free Music Ensemble). Su objetivo en este proyecto es improvisar a partir de unas composiciones modulares en las que los músicos tienen la posibilidad de elegir diferentes elementos. En su desarrollo se incluyen pasajes con un groove muy potente y contagioso con base funk, improvisaciones free en las que no se pierde de vista la melodía, y momentos más contemplativos. En este proyecto le acompañan el baterista Tim Daisy (compañero de Vandermark en mil aventuras musicales), el bajista Devin Hoff y el samplerista Christof Kurzmann.De los tres temas que componen Provoke (CF 273), grabado en directo en Lisboa, el que mejor muestra y engarza esa multitud de influencias es el dedicado a John Cage titulado “Further”. En los otros dos temas también se alternan pasajes contrastados, aunque muestran una menor variedad.

CF 269Desde el inicio de su trayectoria Clean Feed ha estado ligado al festival de Coimbra Jazz Ao Centro, al que ha dedicado la serie JACC dentro de su catálogo. Joe McPhee se une al Trespass Trio en Human Encore (CF 269), grabación registrada a lo largo de tres días en la ciudad portuguesa. En este CD se alternan las composiciones del saxofonista Martin Küchen con las improvisaciones del cuarteto. Esto motiva una variedad más que disfrutable que van del homenaje en formato free al be-bop (“A different Koko”), los aromas folklóricos de “In Our Midst” o “Bruder Beda ist nicht mehr”, el free-bop a tiempo medio (“A deserto n fire, a forest”) o el free propulsivo (“Coimbra, Mon Amour”).

Harris Eisenstadt September Trio: Destructive Element ****
Sophie Agnel, John Edwards, Steve Noble: Meteo *****
Eric Revis: City Of Asylum ****
Mirage: Mirage ***
Lotte Anker, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernani Faustino: Birthmark ****
LAMA + Chris Speed: Lamaçal ****
Made To Break: Provoke ****
Trespass Trio + Joe McPhee: Human Encore ****

All About Jazz review by Glenn Astarita

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade To Break – Provoke (CF 273)
Each of these three extended pieces is dedicated to great twentieth century innovators who specialize in distinct disciplines. Led by Chicago outside jazz luminary Ken Vandermark, the quartet derives inspiration from avant-garde composer John Cage, architect, author Buckminster Fuller and philosopher, media theorist Marshall McLuhan. And as expected, the compositions are not thin or one-dimensional by design, yet from a semi-structured and improvisational standpoint, offer much in the way of excitement and entertainment. Vandermark also imparts some of the funk grooves encountered with his Spaceways Incorporated  band, and Christof Kurzmann’s electronics inject a curiously interesting ingredient into the mix.

The final piece, “Of The Facts (for Marshall McLuhan),” opens with Vandermark’s subdued and reflective lines, perhaps indicative of McLuhan engaging in deep thought. And with Kurzmann’s subtle electronics and drummer Timothy Daisy’s accenting cymbals, the band creates a mood that thrives via the saxophonist’s peppery choruses atop electric bassist Devin Hoff ‘s firm ostinato phrasings. They shift the tempo into a similar ostinato and Vandermark fires back with gravelly angst-ridden notes, driving the band through alternating thematic propositions and zooming in for the kill. From an avant-garde, or semi-free jazz perspective, Provoke, effectively goads the imagination and is one of the more enthralling programs of this ilk for 2013.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=45290

All About Jazz review by Mark Corroto

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade To Break – Provoke (CF 273)
The evolution of Ken Vandermark continues with his new quartet Made To Break, an electric/acoustic ensemble that bridges his musical strengths of composition, organization, and improvisation. Founded in 2011, the saxophonist drew together bassist Devin Hoff  (The Resonance Ensemble), drummer Timothy Daisy (Vandermark 5, The Frame Quartet, Sound In Action Trio, Bridge 61), and a new contributor, Christof Kurzmann  (electronics).

In the early 2000s, Vandermark’s interest in non-jazz elements like funk and reggae developed with his Spaceways Inc. trio and electronics with Frame Quartet and Powerhouse Sound, the latter featured Scandinavian noise artist Lasse Marhaug . His improvising, both solo and in duo (with Daisy) also became an important path for him. As he retired these young projects (including the most successful V5), the seeds for Made To Break were planted.

Provoke and the LP (only) Lacerba (Clean Feed, 2013) are the fruits of his latest transformation. Conceived as compositional modules, each lengthy piece is built of blocks or modules of sound in which players improvise within. The music is a more methodical version of John Zorn’s Cobra and resolves itself as a democratic version of a Butch Morris

Conduction. Opening “Further (for John Cage)” with a simple tenor/drums duet, the piece builds into a heavy funk with the shock of electronics sizzling. The music morphs several times, here and with all tracks, into meditative passages, lyrical (dare I say songlike hymns?) and heavy rock elements. Each module, opens up possibilities of soloing, duos and group interactions. “Presentation (for Buckminster Fuller)” opens with Kurzmann’s electronic circuits firing, fizzling and smoldering as an invitation for some strikingly exquisite clarinet that segues into heavy electric bass destruction.

Each module is a cause for spontaneous structures, improvisation on jazz and non-jazz elements, and like all emerging music, some surprises.
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=44685

OP review by João Santos

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade To Break – Provoke (CF 273)
Curiosamente, “Made to break” é o título de um tratado sobre obsolescência editado há meia dúzia de anos por Giles Slade – que, entretanto, em “Big disconnect”, avançou para a igualmente acutilante temática da tecnologia e solidão, preparando-se para, até ao fim do ano, lançar um caucionário ensaio inspirado pelo iminente êxodo calculado em virtude das consequências do aquecimento global. Mais do que por facilitismo titular, a premência da evocação da obra de Slade no contexto da ação desta nova banda liderada por Ken Vandermark (com Tim Daisy à bateria, David Hoff em baixo elétrico e Christof Kurzmann no software lloopp) advém de, em ambos os casos, se refletir acerca de processos e arquiteturas de controlo – a que não será indiferente a explicativa nomeação e dedicação de cada tema nos seguintes termos: “1. Further (for John Cage) 2. presentation (for Buckminster Fuller) 3. of the facts. (for Marshall McLuhan)”. Vandermark (sax tenor e clarinete) situa o grupo na confluência do seu trabalho desenvolvido, por um lado, com o trio FME (com Nate McBride e Paal Nilssen-Love) e com o quarteto Frame (com Daisy, Fred Lonberg-Holm e McBride) e, por outro, com Spaceways Inc. (com McBride e Hamid Drake) e Powerhouse Sound (que, numa primeira versão, congregou Ingebrit Haker Flaten, Lasse Marhaug, McBride e Nilssen-Love e, noutra, reuniu John Herndon, Jeff Parker e McBride), identificando preocupações composicionais comuns, nomeadamente naquilo que define como “organização modular”: uma técnica que lhe permite reestruturar cada peça a partir dos seus componentes de base e que autoriza cada músico envolvido a improvisar subestruturas baseadas nos mesmos componentes – isto é, trata-se de um fundamento de permanente fluidez, como uma relação de causa e efeito entre composição e improvisação sem hierarquia rígida, que, pela sua própria natureza, altera no momento da sua execução qualquer elemento pré-determinado, “criando e solucionando problemas em tempo real”. Simultaneamente a essa estratégia de relativa liberdade e responsabilidade interpretativa num âmbito de composição espontânea eletroacústica, numa invulgar justaposição estilística que lhe é tão caraterística, Vandermark aproveita esta formação para avançar por formalidades rítmicas tangenciais àquela aguda e precisa – mas também crua e muito pouco asseada – articulação do pós-punk britânico (em bandas como Wire ou The Fall) e melódicas associáveis ao uso de escalas pentatónicas no jazz etíope (que tem explorado paralelamente com os The Ex e com o saxofonista Getatchew Mekurya), num compósito que se revela dotado de um fascinante e maduro paradoxismo.
http://opdoodles.com/2013/04/03/provoke-de-made-to-break/

Music and More review by Tim Niland

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade to Break – Provoke (CF 273)
Recorded in Lisbon during the 10th anniversary celebration for the Clean Feed record label, this new ensemble consists of Christof Kurzmann on electronics, Devin Hoff on bass, Ken Vandermark on saxophones and Tim Daisy on drums. According to the liner notes, this band would practice “modular improvisation,” which creates sections of varying texture and intensity. Things open well on “Further (For John Cage)” with a strong and exciting full band opening before throttling back dramatically to a slow and abstract middle section/module where lighter than air saxophone wafts over tapping rhythm. Another module towards the end of the performance regains some of the energy, with long peals of saxophone over rolling drums. “Presentation (For Buckminster Fuller)” uses drones and smears of strummed or hammered bass and electronics. They move through this section for quite a long time, before the bass and drums ramp up and Vandermark’s saxophone builds in, developing a more interesting collectively improvised section. The final of the tracks (all run nearly twenty minutes) is “Of The Facts (For Marshall McLuhan)” which once again builds from a slow and tentative beginning to gradually develop intensity with bursts of saxophone, drums and electronic delay. The group shifts down once again to an abstract ominous module before waking up to a strong conclusion. There were parts of this album which were quite good, but overall I felt that the length of the songs worked against it. They spent an interminable amount of time investigating what drummer Bill Bruford called “squeaky-bump” jazz, that is low volume, spacious and abstract improvisation. This was undoubtedly fascinating to the musicians themselves, but I had a hard time concentrating, and thus was excited by the thrilling and compelling areas or up-tempo and free improvisation.
http://jazzandblues.blogspot.pt/

Free Jazz review by Martin Schray

clean feed made to break layout TEXTO DIFERENTE - ROJOMade To Break: Provoke (CF 273)
****
If Made to Break’s album “Lacerba” deals with futurism, “Provoke” picks up the thread as to musical structure and philosophical references. Although the music is composed “the material is modular and parts can be combined spontaneously by the various members of the band, so the structure is improvised as well as the solos,” Ken Vandermark said. The three titles of the tracks make up the sentence “Further presentation of the facts” and they are dedicated to influential geniuses of the 20th century – John Cage, Buckminster Fuller and Marshall McLuhan. Like the futurists their ideas and works were revolutionary and therefore provocative, Cage as to music, Buckminster Fuller as to architecture and technology (among others) and McLuhan as to philosophy and media theory. Of course Made to Break do not have the ambition to be as revolutionary as these giants, a lot of things have changed since then, that’s why provocation is hardly possible or has to be different.

“Further (for John Cage)” has the same threepart structure as the tracks on “Lacerba”, it starts with an old-fashioned sax-drums-duo before the bass ends this improvisation interspersing an irresistible rock groove backed up by Kurzmann’s electronics providing simple sound layers and surfaces. This is much closer to alternative rock than to jazz. Tim Daisy destroys this atmosphere and heralds the third part in which the musicians seem to have lost one another before the electronics provide a pattern on which the others can agree with a new structure. The track ends with a bassline that sounds like Bill Laswell and with Vandermark being back on funky grooves.

“presentation (for Buckminster Fuller)” provides a similar architectural structure. It starts like a soundtrack for an old David Lynch short film (bass flageolets, static, helicopter sounds) before it changes to a lyrical part dominated by Vandermark. Hoffs forces the pace throwing in a Mike-Watt/Minutemen-riff and the rest of the band make use of this – it is a great SST moment (my favorite label of the 1980s).

The most lyrical track is “of the facts (for Marshall Mc Luhan)”. It uses the same compositional elements again and arranges it in a new way, especially Vandermark’s No-Jazz-riffs work in a great way.

This is a promising band and I hope there is more to come.
http://www.freejazzblog.org/