Reviews that mention Nate McBride

May 27, 2016


Driff Records CD 1502



Trytone TT99-062

Translating musical ideas from a small group to a big band involves more than merely writing more parts. Like scientists who evoke new laboratory procedures to properly isolate unique phenomenon, Bathysphere’s two composers and Spinflex’s three approached the seven tracks on each of these CDs with methodologies that take into account the variegated colors available from multiple players as well as the resultant juiced up solo strength. Again like researchers whose breakthroughs are predicated on earlier experiments, the CDs’ stimulating shape(s) are the result of imaginative arrangements that take the individual bands’ identities a few steps forward. MORE

March 18, 2015

Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet

Driff Records CD 1404

The Urge Trio

Live in Toledo

Veto-records/exchange 010

By Ken Waxman

Fayetteville, Arkansas’ gift to improvised music, saxophonist/clarinetist Keefe Jackson is gradually expanding his base from his new hometown of Chicago, where he leads several ensembles Both Live in Toledo and Afterimage offer unique displays of his talent. Skewed chamber-jazz, the first calculates how many varied tones can be sourced from the dual tenor saxophones and bass clarinets of Jackson and Swiss reedist Christoph Erb, with Tomeka Reid’s cello the single chordal back-up. Also recorded live, but a more formal date, Afterimage features four Windy City players – reedists Jackson and Dave Rempis, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Frank Rosaly – playing the compositions and arrangements of Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. MORE

May 4, 2014


Boss of the Plains
Aerophonic AR-002


Yuria’s Dream

Veto-records/exchange 009

Chamber music with a difference, these two improvising trios use their unusual instrumentation to its best advantage, by fixing on the contrasting textures that result when vibraphone resonation superlatively blends with reed expansion. What’s more the entire percussion function is left to the bassist. Tellingly, although recorded more than three years apart, both share a similar Chicago orientation, MORE

February 11, 2014

Artist Feature

Dave Rempis
By Ken Waxman

For proof that a committed improviser can build an impressive career outside of NYC, look no further than Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis. The Massachusetts native, who relocated to the Windy City in ’93, is kept busy touring with his own bands as well as in a variety of other groups. This month he’ll play two rare gigs in the Apple, as part of a completely new configuration with trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Chris Corsano.

Rempis would often bump into Wooley at European festivals and Chicago gigs, so eventually they decided to combine forces. The trumpeter suggested the other players and the four will record following the dates. The resulting CD may be a joint release on Wooley’s imprint plus Rempis’ six-month-old Aerophonic label. MORE

June 15, 2012

Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms

Delmark DE 2012

During its history as an instrument for improvisation the vibraphone has been utilized two ways. Either the player approaches it like a tuned drum or he or she lets the mallets, bars and motor-drive become the equivalent of a metal piano. Extroverts such as Lionel Hampton and Terry Gibbs and any number of R&B percussion colorists excelled at the first method, while more cerebral stylists such as Walt Dickinson, Milt Jackson and most of the Northern European vibes players concentrated on the second. MORE

June 1, 2010

The Frame Quartet

35 MM
Okka Disk OD 12078



482 Music 482-1064

Matthew Shipp

Nu Bop Live

Rai Trade RTPJ 0015

Connie Crothers-Michel Bisio

Sessions at 475 Kent

Mutable 17537-2

Extended Play: Combos: Ad Hoc and Long Constituted in Toronto

By Ken Waxman

Long-established jazz groups have become as common as pop hits based on Mozart melodies topping the charts – they sometimes exist. But with accomplished improvisers tempted by side projects, bands often reconstitute and sidemen regularly have their own gigs. In most cases, though, this doesn’t affect the music’s quality. MORE

December 6, 2006

Bridge 61

Atavistic ALP172CD

Raucous and other-focused Journal is yet another entry in Chicago saxophonist Ken Vandermark’s ever lengthening discography. Largely concentrated on low pitches, the instrumentation on this notable 72-minute, eight-track CD is completed by Jason Stein’s voluminous bass clarinet timbres, Nate McBride’s resonating acoustic and electric bass fills and Tim Daisy’s chunky percussion strokes.

Playing tenor and baritone saxophones, Vandermark’s most common strategy consists of arduous snorts and vamps– one part glottal R&B honks, the other altissimo Free Jazz shrills. The other players respond, expand or moderate the attack. Thick strums and funky thumb pops from the bassist define the groove on more rhythmic numbers, while acoustically McBride outputs woody bass slaps. Spectacular in his drum displays, Daisy references vigorous backbeat ruffs and rolls along with subtle shuffles, rim shots and kettle drum approximations – doubling or halving the tempo at will. When not gurgling basement split tone runs, Stein often uses pitch-sliding trills for melodic double counterpoint with Vandermark’s saxophones or clarinet. MORE

September 2, 2002


Double or Nothing
Okka Disc OD 12035

In Our Time
Okka Disc OD 12041

Version Soul
Atavistic ALP 130 CD

Eventually Ken Vandermark is going to have to stop wearing his emotions --and influences -- on his sleeve and CD booklet.

Now that the Chicago-based reedman has established himself nationally and internationally as an extender and interpreter of free music, aren’t the dedications he appends to each of his original compositions getting to be a bit redundant? MORE

August 6, 2001


No Such Thing
Boxholder BXH 018

Although he's only honored with one dedication on the final track of this disc, NO SUCH THING could be heard as a tribute to reedman/composer Jimmy Giuffre.

Consistently in the advance guard, Giuffre is probably the only man to have written a progressive jazz standard, "Four Brothers", for Woody Herman's late 1940s Second Herd's, and yet be considered a New Thing fellow traveler in the 1960s.

The now 80-year-old former teacher at Boston's New England Conservatory (NEC) influenced musicians throughout his career, but this band in conception and instrumentation harkens back to the drummer-less trio the reedist headed in 1961. Completed by pianist Paul Bley and a very young Steve Swallow on bass, the group created a new standard for understated improvisation. This admirable disc puts an individual and 21st century spin on those sounds. MORE

July 27, 2000


Thirteen Cosmic Standards
Atavistic ALP 120 CD

Asked once what he thought of Sun Ra's music, Funkadelic mainman George Clinton famously said: "He's out to lunch all right. The same place I eat at." Now for fanciers of these pioneer Black nationalist space travelers here's a tasty meal, courtesy of Spaceways Incorporated, that serves up several entrees from both men's oeuvre.

Now before anyone looking at the band's name fears that another Klaatu is on the scene, it should be pointed out that each member is identified on the disc. The trio is made up of two Chicagoans: multi-reedist Ken Vandermark, who seems to have as many side projects as McDonald's has hamburgers; and drummer Hamid Drake who has powered the ensembles of Peter Brötzmann and Fred Anderson among others; plus Boston-based acoustic/electric bassist Nate McBride.


July 27, 2000


Boxholder 003

What a difference a few years makes. Around 1979, an unpretentious, feet-on-the-floor, wholly improvised quartet session like this wouldn't have attracted that much attention. It would merely have been seen as a part of the then very common freebop style.

Today, after more than two decades of the so-called "young lions" pushing jazz ever farther backwards into rote 4/4 swing and regurgitation of standards, KONK seems almost revolutionary. In actuality, the quartet is made up of modern mainstreamers, who use their honed skills and inspiration to solidify the advances made by groups like the Ornette Coleman quartet of the early 1960s.