Two Days In December : Ken Vandermark / Raymond Strid / Sten Sandell / David Stackenas* / Kjell Nordeson – Two Days In December
I had been thinking of recording a series of improvised duos with these four players for a couple of years, but it took some time to shape the way to go about it. The main thing was to show some of the improvisational range that each of them have and I thought that the best way to do this was to work with shorter durations, pieces from five to ten minutes in length, over two cds so each duo could be represented by at least a half an hour of music . Then it became necessary to find the time that I would be able to hit the studio with them, not so easy considering their reputations and activity. Thankfully it came together in Stockholm at a great studio (Atlantis) with a great engineer (Jan Hansson) over a couple of afternoons in the end of 2001.
With these duos I think that we tried to be as free from musical categories and boundaries as we could, playing what the music suggested not what our preconceptions dictated. I feel that in many cases we succeeded. There are elements of styles defined as Free Jazz, Free Improvisation, New Music, Blues, Jazz, etc., but there are many times that I think we found something that is personal and does not fit into the categories that are set by 20th century expectations. It’s a new time and we need to find music that belongs to our own experiences. Not too long ago Paul Lytton said to me, “We sacrificed a lot to play the music we were hearing,” and asked me point blank: “Well, what are YOU going to do?” The music on these cds is one answer to that question.
– Ken Vandermark, from the liner notes to Two Days in December
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