=Monday, October 6, 2008

Size Large - Spaceways Inc.

Today's selection is from a now defunct contemporary free-jazz trio that really knows how to lay down a groove...

Size Large - Spaceways Inc. - Altavistic

Drummer Hamid Drake, bassist Nate McBride, and reeds-man Ken Vandermark assembled into the trio known as Spaceways Inc. in 1999, after Vandermark had previously worked with each on a variety of different projects in Chicago and Boston. Taken from Ken Vandermark's website, "The initial version of the project focused on the work of George Clinton's Funkadelic and Sun Ra's various ensembles. Spaceways took those ideas about funk and free jazz and brought them someplace new on the album 13 Cosmic Standards (Atavistic, 2000). During a tour of Austria in the Spring of 2001, the trio talked about further developing the stylistic polarities suggested by the pieces of Clinton and Ra by applying them to compositions of their own. Spaceways followed though on this idea with the work recorded in August 2001 for the cd, Version Soul (Atavistic, 2002). This document expands on the hard funk/free jazz intersection of the first record and includes elements of reggae, "cool school" jazz, Southern back beats, and "new music" abstractions.

Today's selection certainly encompasses all of these elements into a seriously funky groove. Size Large starts off with Hamid Drake laying down the backbeat while Vandermark introduces a saxophone groove that will re-emerge time and again throughout the track. Drake then provides a size-large break that really sets the tone for the rest of the song. At the culmination of the mighty break, Vandermark re-emerges to intermittently return to the original groove while also stretching out in a number of equally funky directions. Throughout this time, the rhythm work of Drake is supported by solid upright work intermixed with sparse feedback/noise from McBride that really aids in pushing the sound of the trio out. This is all, of course, before McBride and Drake tighten things up again with solid rhythm work that allows Vandermark to really get down through the end of the track.

*Today's selection was taken from a CD only release, so don't bother digging in the crates for it.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

I owe you a mix CD full of extra-funky Vandermark tunes.

Words cannot describe how happy it made me to see this up here. I love this track as if it were my only child.

It definitely deserves the 45 treatment.