The concert took place at the Riverstone Gallery, and once more the music was supported by individuals who wanted the music to happen in their own town and did something about it. Of the eight concerts we played, half were organized by people working outside a club format. In almost every circumstance, accommodations were provided by friends giving us a place to stay in their homes. The success and survival of this music is going to be dependent on contributions like this, at a grass roots level. On behalf of Tim and myself, huge thanks to everyone who got involved to help us make the tour such a success.
7/8: The day after a long drive home from Kentucky, Tim and I played one more duo show, at the Hungry Brain in Chicago. It felt good to be back in town, presenting the aesthetics we had been working on together for the previous dozen nights. We had developed such a strong rapport in the duo format over those days that the music felt completely free each set despite having such a strong sense of structure. On most evenings it truly felt like the music was playing itself, and the performance in Chicago was no exception.
7/11: As usually seems to be the case, the next project was a massive shift in musical direction. Josh Abrams, Nate McBride, Michael Zerang and I got together to rehearse with Bill Dixon on the 10th, and then the next night to perform at Ganz Hall in Chicago. Knowing Dixon only through his music, I wasn’t sure what to expect when we met with him. Would we be playing some of his compositions, would the music be completely improvised (it turned out to be the latter), would he be dictatorial as a leader or open to the other musicians input (again, and thankfully, it turned out to be the latter). Dixon clearly defined what he was shooting for in the music, not by indicating what he wanted us to play, but by giving us a few clear specifics about what he did not want to hear: no pulse time, no soloistic phrases, transparency over density.
© 2023 Ken Vandermark – musician & composer | Disclaimer