19 May 2006


The next day felt almost like a vacation in comparison, easy travel to Ljubljana, a beautiful afternoon and coffee with Haavard (who looked almost human again) and Bogdan, dinner with Ab’s quartet and our trio, music by both bands, and an after concert hangout with friends. I love this city! Too happy to go to bed at a reasonable hour, so Ingebrigt and I stayed up way too late with the Dutch and Slovenian crew. A highlight of that late night was getting a clarinet lesson from Ab- at about three in the morning. He’d been promising to show me a few things on the instrument for a couple of days and never got to it, until then.

A: “Lesson now, for $50!”

K: “You’ve got to show me something first.”

A: “I’ll be right over…” (proceeds to elbow his way throught the bar with his horn) “Now, octaves soft to loud.” (Notes sing out over the music on the stereo). “And then overtones in sequence…” (More notes.)

K: “Right. How do you deal with the register split?”

A: buy zithromax 250 mg online “Okay, you keep this finger here all the time, a little trick John Carter showed me.”

K: “Right. How about euros instead?”

A lot of talk that night at a Slovenian bar, but I do remember some of the excercises and a discussion regarding working on a collaboration with Ab. The $50? I remember nothing about that, and hopefully…

From Ljubljana to Leeds. We had two concerts in England, the first was with the trio on the 10th, the second was sitting in with the LIMA ensemble. As great as it was to play the qigs with the Ab Baars’ Quartet, it felt good to play two sets again. The crowd in Leeds was excellent, and I think our second set that night was one of the best of the tour. Playing with the LIMA ensemble the next night went well, they had two sets of original music prepared, and we sat in for the second part of their performance.

From Leeds it was back to Germany to end the tour with another two concerts. In Schorndorf Haavard was faced with the first and only upright piano of the tour, but the instrument was in good shape and in tune. Despite the long travel we played well enough for the audience to demand two encores. On the 13th we finished off the trip in Leer. Sometimes the last concert can be the hardest, the band can lose focus and the music can drift: weak concentration caused by a lot of work and the prospect of going home. In this case, Free Fall finished the tour with some of the best music we’ve ever played. The crowd was great, very attentive and open to the range of music we tackled. A fantastic way to end the tour.

Free Fall will get together again at the end of August in Chicago, to rehearse new material and to record another album for Smalltown. Getting a chance to work together over the course of nine concerts and really develop the group vocabulary has given us a huge collection of ideas, and I’m already looking forward to collecting the next book of material so that we can take this trio further into new territory.

-Ken Vandermark, Bielefeld, Germany, 5/15/06.

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