24 April 2012


Begin work on the duo tour with Paal Nilssen-Love on Sunday the 22nd in Glasgow. Spent the morning taking photos, mostly Aaron Siskind inspired color shots of peeling paint and rotting walls. The night before we checked out a couple of bars both of which played music from the 1950’s, early Rock ‘n Roll and R&B; a bit surprising to see 20 year olds dancing to these tunes while singing along with the lyrics.

The first show was a part of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, which may explain why the concert was under-promoted (the venue’s website listed the gig as, “Ken Vandermark and Paal,” not bothering to include “Nilssen-Love,” and the only details were, “Everyone loves Improv,” a great motivator to go to a show if there ever was one). In addition to this frustration, our performance turned out to be part of a triple bill with opening bands called, “Polar Bears Are Best No One Else Can Beat Them,” and “Mid Leapard Violet Prism.” The organizer was quite nice, helped in getting proper heads for the drums, took care of the travel details, etc., and once we started playing the reason why I had traveled from Italy to Scotland was self evident, it’s incredible to get to work with Paal.

Before the show we ate at a vegetarian restaurant across the street, which played the music of Fats isotretinoinonlinebuy.com/cheap-accutane.html Domino throughout dinner. From Glasgow we traveled to Jena in eastern Germany, another long day but we were still able to get food at the hotel when we arrived at 10pm, about 11 hours after leaving our hotel in Scotland. The day before the concert on the 24th was spent dealing with logistics (picking up train tickets and a Bahn card, dealing with endless email and travel details that needed to be organized for the next month-plus in Europe). That night the gig went very well, audience attentive and asking for an encore after an long set of two extended improvisations, music moving from Jazz-based time, to Ethiopian rhythms Paal has been bringing to the music over the last couple of shows, to tight Funk and open phrasing. Every time Paal and I get together for duo performances I have the sense that we’re going to explore different territory- so far it seems that the focus on this tour is on pulse and how many different ways that a groove can be expressed. Oddly enough, before the concert the club played a bunch of music from the Sun label, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley; seems that American music from the 1950s is following us around Europe for some crazy reason…

Christof Kurzmann and I from our concert in Florianopolis: