You are here:Home>CD Reviews>Free Jazz / Avante Garde - CD Reviews>Free Jazz Classics - Volumes 1 & 2 by Vandermark 5

Free Jazz Classics - Volumes 1 & 2 by Vandermark 5

Originally issued as limited-edition "bonus" discs with their last two studio albums Burn The Incline and Acoustic Machine, this 2-CD-for-the-price-of-one set makes generally available the Vandermark 5’s tributes to their forebears/inspirations from the 1960s and 70s. They tackle one composition each by the likes if iconic figures Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Carla Bley and others, as well as lesser-heralded ones Joe McPhee, Frank Wright and Jimmy Giuffre, and to them they bring a lot of hard yet elastic swing and passionate, focused solos. High points include Julius Hemphill’s "G Song" and Don Cherry’s "There Is The Bomb," both of which cook like a stripped-down version of Blakey’s Messengers; the rollicking, pointed raunch of Archie Shepp’s "Where Junebugs Go"; and a pensive yet coolly good-humored take on Coleman’s "Happy House." Everybody here is at the top of their game, playing it wild n’ wooly yet avoiding bombast and the ol’ noodle-doodle - though special mention is due KV’s expressive bass clarinet and Tim Mulvenna’s crisp, ebullient, frequently Ed Blackwell-like drumming. Fans of the V5 will need to have this, of course - but if there be an ol’ stick-in-the-mud out there who still needs proof that avant-garde jazz can swing and swing hard, then this set is proof enough.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Vandermark 5
  • CD Title: Free Jazz Classics - Volumes 1 & 2
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Atavistic
  • Musicians: Ken Vandermark: tenor sax, Bb & bass clarinets; Dave Semple: alto & tenor saxes; Jeb Bishop: trombone; Tim Mulvenna: drums; Kent Kessler: bass.
  • Rating: Four Stars
Login to post comments