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Ken Vandermark: Busy V

The Vandermark 5: Ken Vandermark, Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Kent Kessler
Ken Vandermark

I’m a little bit tired,” Ken Vandermark says over the phone from his Chicago home. “I’m trying to get some charts written up between the calls.” The truth is Vandermark is probably always a little bit tired because he’s always trying to get something together: charts, recordings, bands, tours or curating festivals. The busiest man in underground jazz can’t seem to slow down. “I’m terrible at taking time off. I keep-” he sighs and pauses “-I’ve had a lot of friends who have said, ‘Look, man, you’ve got to take a break.’ And enough of them have said it that I’m thinking, ‘Maybe I should take a break,'” Vandermark laughs. “But I’m really bad at it. I’m really happy when I’m playing.”

One of the recent fruits of all his labor is the Vandermark 5’s 12-CD Alchemia (Not2) box set, recorded live in Poland. “We were invited to play in Krakow for five days straight,” Vandermark says. “To have that document out there, it’s a really clear picture of how the group worked.”

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