Saturday, November 11, 2006

east broadway standstill

Latest "candle in sunshine" discovery that speaks volumes about the current state of things, The Vandermark 5's Free Jazz Classics, Volume 3, Six for Rollins. It's entirely possible that I'm benighted and quite out of line to suggest it's better not to make this recording *at all*. But before I go any further, mistrusting first impressions as I do and wanting perhaps to open my ears...maybe I'm missing something? Maybe it isn't fair to compare *even when the musicians beg the comparison* by calling something "Six for Rollins." Anyway, before I say more here, I'll listen more. If anyone out there wants to give me their own version of "glowing liner notes" to this or other Vandermark 5 recordings go for it.


Ryshpan said...

I'd be curious to hear this. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a Ken Vandermark fan, but at the station I work at we have a large of his albums and I always find one or two tracks I like on every record, which says something about consistency. I will admit that the pieces I like usually fall into the same vein (formula might be a word with too harsh of a connotation): demented swing heads that at some point devolve into chaos and come back again.

However I don't think I've ever laid ears on the Free Jazz Classics series, and merely as a conceptual experiment I find it intriguing, although one that's quite susceptible to failure. I don't necessarily see the problem with Sonny Rollins as the subject of the tribute, because there was a period where he was on the fringes of the avant-garde (around the time of Sonny Meets Hawk, when Henry Grimes was in the band), and has certainly contributed enough to the vocabulary of the saxophone to have influenced more "legitimately" free improvisers or avant saxophonists.

Mwanji Ezana said...

I bought Vols. 3 & 4 (dedicated to RRK) as a two-fer and my initial reaction was exactly the same as yours, Peter.

The other V5 album I have is "Acoustic Machine," which I don't like. Weirdly, I've seen the V5 live once or twice, and really liked them (as well as the Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, which Vandermark is at least the co-leader of).