Ken Vandermark Interviewed About His New Group

Ken Vandermark, at "Sonore" concert,...


The French director’s influence on Vandermark partially explains the name of his newest ensemble, Marker. (The group’s name, Vandermark says, has no explicit connection to the old Vandermark 5 tune “Second Marker”; in fact, he’d forgotten the song existed.) Comprising Vandermark, guitarists Andrew Clinkman and Steve Marquette, keyboardist and violinist Macie Stewart, and drummer Phil Sudderberg, Marker expands the conventional orchestration for an improvising quintet. Its variegated membership — Vandermark, at 54, is 24 years older than Marquette, the group’s second-oldest member — brings to the ensemble a wealth of reference points. Marker is deeply inspired by free jazz and Bernie Worrell‘s keyboard work with Parliament Funkadelic and Talking Heads, but also contemporary classical music, the guitar work of post-punk groups like Wire and The Ex, and groove methodologies from Brazil, Afro-Beat and funk.