The guy's prolific, open to playing with musicians from very diverse backgrounds. That being said, I have the impression that Vandermark is little influenced by the musicians he plays with. He does his thing, and the others try to add some spice.
Artifact: iTi Live In St. Johann (Okka Disk, 2010) **½
Lean Left - The Ex Guitars meet Nilssen-Love/Vandermark Duo, Volume 1 (Smalltown Superjazzz, 2010) ***½
Volume 2 starts as a kind of mirror to Volume 1, with the two guitars taking the lead on the first piece for some minimalist noise-making, with Vandermark only faintly joining after ten minutes or so. The second piece is on the contrary all fire and explosion, with all four members contributing quite powerfully, also in the more quiet moments.
Tim Daisy / Ken Vandermark Duo - Light On The Wall (Laurence Family Records, 2010) ****
The album starts with "Autostrada", slowly picking up speed with Vandermark on clarinet, then Daisy pushes up a kind of tribal rhythm, bringing the clarinet to full intensity, then slowing down for a nice melodious moment. "The Empty Chair" is the ideal Vandermark + percussion duet, full of funky power, deep rhythmic grooves, offering the drummer all the opportunities to demonstrate what can be done if the rhythm is already so inherently present in the solo instrument, and that's what Daisy does, grasping the opportunity to play slow, or double-time, or play around the beat, all cleverness and subtlety, driving the reverse situation to an extreme in the last minutes. Man, this is great fun!
The B-side starts with "Turnabout", a quiet and sensitive piece, lyrical and sweet, and is followed "Landing", in which the rhythm picks up again for some great funky improv, not unlike what we've heard before, yet always nice to hear again, with "Decollage" being more abstract free improv without clear patterns.
On the second disk, Tim Daisy plays seven pieces for solo percussion, and on the D-side, Vandermark brings four 'études for Jimmy Giuffre' on clarinet. Both solo sides are quite interesting to listen to, and a nice addition to complete the album, yet are not really essential.
Watch a clip of Vandermark + Daisy, recorded on May 15, 2008, so exactly two years ago.
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