The DKV trio is a long running group with Hamid Drake (Drums), Kent Kessler (Bass), and Ken Vandermark (Woodwinds). This album was recorded live in 2014 at The Silver Maple in Milwaukee, WI. While Messr’s K and V’s contributions to this album are fantastic, it is Mr D who stands out most to me. His drum solos on “Faster Than it Would Be” and “20th Century Myth” are stunning examples of loose limbed grace. Each time I listen to each of those songs, I hear another cool aspect of Drake’s playing I missed the previous times, like examining a crystal from a different angle. A master class in percussion.
Free without losing it’s funk, this is a fantastic album by three modern masters at the top of their game.
The DKV trio, (Hamid Drake, Kent Kessler, Ken Vandermark) vs. The Thing, (Ingebrig Håker Flaten, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love). It’s hard to pick what part of this album I like the best. The intricate, and often funky, polyrhythms generated between Drake and Nilssen-Love? The awesome low end and Arco work of Håker Flaten and Kessler? The virile, competitive, skronk-fest between Vandermark and Gustafsson? I hate to use a hackneyed phrase like, “It’s All Good,” but, it is ALL great. If this album doesn’t wake you up, you’re probably dead. (Also, it’s awesome that the Google dictionary has added “skronk-fest” to its auto-complete.)
The Damage is Done by McPhee/Brötzmann/Kessler/Zerang.
An early tendency towards noir jazz, encouraged by Mr Kessler’s bass lines, leads towards some pleasantly lyrical passages from Brötzmann. However, when McPhee switches to Tenor, about 20 minutes in, the take-no-prisoners, two Tenor skronk-fest you were hoping for materializes. Invigorating.