Last night was all about our inner jazzbo. If the Empty Bottle were a volcano, the Vandermark Five would be the lava. We have been ordering, cajoling, imploring, etc. our various associates that we all take Ken Vandermark very much for granted. That he plays like 8 times a week all over town and we barely represent. This man is a McArthur Genius Grant winner. This man is not Mr. Yakkity Sax on some Boots Randolph type shit. This is serious as a heart attack real deal 100% jazz. Jazz is dead, you say. Huh. So is Lenny Bruce. Ever met anyone funnier? Sure, all you Weasel Walters with your axes to grind have a point. But we just love dude. And his band. Oh, boy blammo, the V5 smoke. Checkity check out this lineup: Kenny V (sorry) on reeds, Kent Kessler on bass, Fred Longberg-Holm on further strings, Tim Daisy on the kit and new to us sax man Dave Rempis. Here, say hi to the boys.
Tim Daisy especially tickles our fancy. He hits 'em hard, he hits 'em soft, he hits 'em everywhich damn way. At one point as he was counting off a track, Ken looked over to him and said "you sweaty motherfucker" in a complimentary fashion. True dat. The V5 is driving, muscular post-bop that sounds very Midwest to us. Like good Chicago architecture, solid and flowing ever upwards. Ayn Rand, that evil old Facist wench, would probably love this band. For all the right reasons of course. But they can ballad that ass too. The short, moving piece they played for Derek Bailey had a visible effect on the room. By the end, people were whooping after solos and freaking the fuck out. And these were jazzbos. You, know. Pasty. Bad facial hair. Lots of bad facial hair. 8 or 9 dudes to every chick in the room. Conversations about Lee Morgan and Kenneth Terroade. Imported beer in every fist. War whooping. You shoulda been there.