Marker – “Roadwork 1 / Roadwork 2 / Homework 1” (Audiographic Records, 2018)

“Roadwork 1 / Roadwork 2 / Homework 1” is the newest release by “Catalytic Sound” records. Three albums set was recorded by famous saxophonist Ken Vandermark new ensemble “Marker”. This ensemble is formed by interesting and creative jazz masters – Ken Vandermark (saxophone,clarinet), Andrew Clinkman (guitar), Steve Marquette (guitar), Macie Stewart (keyboard, violin) and Phil Sudderberg (drums).All musicians of the ensemble have unique and interesting playing manner, which is constructed by dozens of colorful playng techiques, expressions and sound experiments. The sound is unique and gorgeous – it’s filled with marvelous and sparkling solos, energetic, extremele powerful, sharp and vibrant blow outs and turbulent spontaneous improvisations. Musicians are the masters of improvising – they masterfully fuse together many different rhythms, materials, sounds, forms, expressions, moods and other elements of musical language. Effective and creative synthesis of various elements of musical language gives an interesting result – bright, innovative and dynamic sound.

“Roadwork 1 / Roadwork 2 / Homework 1” has remarkable and original sound. The album contain of 3 CD’s, which are based on avant-garde jazz, free improvisations, experimental jazz and strong intonations of various modern jazz styles. The music is based on free improvisation and filled with dynamic and gorgeous solos, sudden stylistic changes and unique sound. Spontaneous solos, bright and vivacious melodies, expressive, vivid, splendid and rapid passages, glissando and other traditional methods of instrumentation are fused together with tremendous, rigorous and turbulent blow outs, sharp and aggressive episodes or very calm and relaxing pieces. All three CD’s are based on same style – dynamic, bright and expressive playing manner, extraction of various timbres and unusual sounds, producing of strange effects and the art to masterfully fuse together absolutely contrasting moods, characters, expressions, rhythms and other musical language elements. Even though, that the compositions in all three CD’s have many similar things, there’s also possible to find many differences, especially in sound, mood and instrumentation sections. “Road Work” is the 1 CD of the set. It’s mostly based on collective improvisations, have active, rapid and intensive sound. The compositions have solid melodic section, strong and firm rhythmic basement and gorgeous background. Expressive and bright reeds solos, intensive and remarkable guitar, keyboards and violin melodies, provocative rhythmic, vivacious, playful and gentle episodes and other similar elements are connected together with special effects, colorful and modern elements of electronics and sound experiments. The compositions of “Road Work” have many episodes, which have suggestive and effective sound. That’s remarkable, turbulent, spontaneous and energetic blow outs, gently and colorfully illustrated by subtle electronics, strange timbres, computer devices sounds and other elements. The second CD of the set is “Atlanta”. Album has effective and bright elements, original and bright musical language, rich musical pattern and colorful sound. The collective improvisations rest the main element of the improvisations. Though the album is based on the same basics like the first one, there are many differences. Expressive and dramatic melodies of violin give modern and interesting sound. Contrasting and bright violin melodies are highly contrasting with guitars, which make a strong effect for whole sound of the album. The solos and conversations between two young and talented guitarists are especially emotional, sensible and based on bright and innovative musical decisions. Strong, effective and bright musical material, polyphonic musical pattern, colorful and modern harmony and turbulent rhythmic section – these elements form the main part of these improvisations. “Atlanta”, just like the first one album, has engaging, evocative and interesting sound. “Homework” is the third album of this set. This album is the set of marvelous, energetic and turbulent collective improvisations. It’s very good opportunity to hear new and fresh sound of avant-garde jazz. Special effects, sound experiments, bright and innovative musical decisions, colorful and extravagant instrumentation, splendid, tremendous and interesting improvising by all ensemble musicians brings effective and bright sound to this album. All three albums are based on avant-garde and experimental jazz, but also has many intonations with other jazz styles. Bebop, post bop, hard bop, neo bop, fusion and other styles of contemporary and modern avant-garde jazz are used here. The mild intonations of traditional and early jazz also are heard in first album from time to time. There also are the episodes similar to experimental music and academic avant-garde – special effects, electronic music elements, innovative instrumentation decisions make a strong effort to whole sound. These episodes are especially frequently heard in first and second album. Colorful and bright guitar melodies bring effective, energetic and powerful sound of avant-rock and rock. Hard core, firm and monotonic beat, quadratic structure, strict rhythmic are the main elements of rock music – they are gently combined together with free improvisations, turbulent solos and roaring explosions. The music of this album is based on huge variety of different music styles, dozens of musical expressions, sounds and timbres, which are masterfully combined together in one place. The improvisations of the ensemble have progressive, energetic and remarkable sound.

12 thoughts on “Marker – “Roadwork 1 / Roadwork 2 / Homework 1” (Audiographic Records, 2018)”

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