“It took me a long time to figure out that Cecil Taylor’s music had conventionally notated material involved.” —Ken Vandermark
Sometimes stumbling blocks and dumb luck can lead to a more satisfyingly final presentation than if everything went as originally planned. This was intended to be a phone interview from the outset, however equipment failures combined with difficult scheduling conspired to turn this into an email interview.
Despite Ken’s Herculean effort to key paragraph after paragraph into a tiny BlackBerry keypad, it became difficult for him to keep track and the written word (anybody’s) lacks a certain visceral flavor of the personality behind the words. Fortunately Ken agreed to another phone conversation and as a result, the reader is now presented with two sides of Ken; one represented by transcribed spoken language from January 20, 2006, and the other appears as supplemental email Q&A. Email material predates the phone conversation and is indicated by “AAJ-e” and “KV-e” to help differentiate between what’s what. Also of note; while I heard Ken very clearly during our phone conversation, our connection was such that Ken sometimes strained to hear me.
A tremendous “Thank You” to Ken for willing to see this interview through.