The albums starts “Faster Then It Would Be” featuring a free blowing Vandermark on tenor saxophone, quickly joined by a bowing Kessler and a more subtle, colouring Drake; working their way into a funky groove initiated by Vandermark, promptly supported by Drake and Kessler. From here, the trio really joins as a unit and weaves threads of free and groove into a polyrhythmic web propelling Drake into a contagious solo. Following Drake’s solo, toe-tapping continues when Vandermark adds a catchy melody that develops into the climax of the piece. To clear satisfaction of the audience and this listener, well-earned applause.
“20th Century Myth” finds Hamid Drake solo, searching for other worlds on his drum kit. He is a real adventurer, taking us all around the world musically. Free phrases intertwine with tribal rhythm and world music. After 5 minutes, he settles and is joined by a gentle Vandermark, and supported by a deep bowing Kessler. The track continues into a pulsating rhythm initiated by Vandermark and collectively develops and fades into a deeply wailing free blues.
“Uncontrolled Writer” finds Vandermark on clarinet squealing through high registers, overtones and harmonics before settling with gentle cymbals and plucked strings. Vandermark quickly switches back to saxophone and is propelled into a groove by Drake’s brushwork that is – all too – briefly interrupted for a nice pizzicato solo on double bass by Kessler. The trio joins forces and finishes off the set with a catchy climax, answered with loud cheers and applause by the audience.
This is a really tight record by masters of free music that have been all over the scene for the past 25 years. Highly recommended. You should own the record, if only for the second track.
- Martin Sekelsky (Free Jazz Blog)
released November 13, 2017
All compositions by Hamid Drake (Smiling Forehead / BMI) Kent Kessler (BMI), and Ken Vandermark (Twenty First Mobile Music / ASCAP / Cien Fuegos)
Special thanks to Marek Winiarski and Not Two Records and to Adrienne Pierluissi for her ongoing support of the Option Milwaukee series.
Recorded in concert on December 21st 2014 by David Zuchowski at the Sugar Maple in Milwaukee.
Mixed and mastered by Dave Zuchowski, One Room Studio.
Back cover photo by Petra Cvelbar.
Inside cover photo by Ziga Koritnik
Design by Malgorzata Lipinska
supported by 24 fans who also own “Latitude 41.88”
Great, great band, The Engines...this live recording (The Green Mill, Chicago) just hits the sweet spot continuously...
The playing, the improvising, the interplay, the energy and the verve just don't get better than this for me...all Ken Vandermark associates, all quality guaranteed composers.
Lots of exceptional stuff on this label (Dave Rempis' Aerophonic Records) too...check it all out, it's worth your time and effort. John Cratchley
Two fifths of the acclaimed group Irreversible Entanglements create a revolutionary LP celebrating Latin and Afro-Caribbean influences through intricate drum and brass arrangements. Bandcamp Album of the Day Oct 21, 2020