So, lately I've been on a serious Vandermark kick and I must say, it really has been a winding, careening path. It all started when Jeremy and I spent two days out in the North Carolina woods - randomly enough, Mehasty, owner of Tomato Head mentioned him getting a group together in the nature of the Vandermark 5 (perhaps without even knowing what kind of music they actually played.) I specifically remember listening to the music as we wound through mountain passages and there was definitely something about the music that reeled me in.
After listening to a half dozen albums in the last 6 -8 months, I just finished watching the documentary, MUSICIAN, a fantastic work about his life as a successful, avant-gard composer and musician who actually makes a living doing just that! I also just finished an interview that I think any musician would really enjoy. You can find it on WNUR.org - they have a streaming mp3 - its like 1.5 hrs long - but its worth it believe me. Vandermark is fucking smart and articulate as hell and his passion and dedication to his art is an absolute inspiration.
Also in this vein, I've decided to put together a concert of some of his more rock/funk oriented compositions. It will be a harrowing journey that I have only just begun, so please wish me luck. I'm also hoping it will be one of the sledgehammers used to bust through the walls that are holding me back compositionally.
Anyway, what it boils down to is - mad props to Ken and all that he and his cohorts are doing. It definitely ain't easy, in any way shape or form, but its value is immeasurable in my opinion.
Keep up the noize!