Kyle Bruckmann as an oboist and electronic musician has become a fixture in Chicago's thriving experimental music underground. With a history of conservatory training gone awry, Bruckmann combines the discipline of a classical foundation with the raucous sensibilities of Dada and punk in adizzying variety of artistic endeavors. He has lived in Chicago since 1996, teaching and free-lancing as a classical musician while playing regularly with some of the city's most creative improvisers and sound artists, including Jeb Bishop, Jim Baker, Bhob Rainey, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Bob Marsh, Robbie Hunsinger, Michael Zerang, Guillermo Gregorio, and Olivia Block. Ongoing affiliations include EKG, an electroacoustic duo with Ernst Karel, the Rosenberg Skronktet ("Anyone interested in how creative music develops will want to keep an ear on their progress," Kevin Whitehead, Chicago Sun-Times), and the experimental punk powerhouse Lozenge. As a member of composer Gene Coleman's Ensemble Noamnesia, he has collaborated with Polwechsel and performed works by George Crumb, John Cage, Charles Ives, Cornelius Cardew, Malcolm Goldstein, and Salvatore Sciarrino, among others.His debut CD of solo improvisations, "entymology," available through Barely Auditable Records, has been hailed as "an enchanting experience that expands thepossibilities (and the comprehension) of the double reed family" (François Couture, All-Music Guide). EKG's "Shift or latch" was recently released by Crank Satori; Lozenge's recordings are available through ToYo and Farrago Records.
Jim Baker (synthesizer) has performed & recorded (as either a pianist or synthesist) in various situations which have included various people, some of whom are also on this record, and others who are not. More specifically, Mr. Baker has previously performed with Mr. Bruckmann in situations organized by Guillermo Gregorio, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Scott Rosenberg, Ernst Karel, Robbie Hunsinger, and Michael Zerang.
Jeb Bishop plays trombone with, among others, the Vandermark Five, the Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet, the Chicago-Scandinavia quintet School Days, and Fred Lonberg-Holm's Terminal Four, as well as leading his own trio. He often plays ad hoc free-improvisation gigs in Chicago and lsewhere. The Chicago label Okkadisk has released two CDs by the Jeb Bishop Trio, and Bishop's CD 98 Duets is available on the label Wobbly Rail.
Cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm has performed and recorded extensively throughout North America and Europe. While based out of NYC, he performed in and led various ensembles including his quartet PEEP, AnthonyBraxton's Creative Orchestra, God is my Co-Pilot, and Anthony Coleman's Selfhaters. In the late '90s,Lonberg-Holm relocated to Chicago where he has since become heavily involved in the free music scene. His projects there include the improvisational Light Box Orchestra, Pillow, Terminal 4, and the Peter Brotzmann Tentet.
Gene Coleman is a composer, bass clarinetist and artistic director of Ensemble Noamnesia. His compositions are explorations of possible relationships between noise and what is normally called "music", as well as spatial and temporal perception. With Ensemble Noamnesia and the yearly festival "Sound Field" he has had collaborations in Chicago with many important composers, including Helmut Lachenmann, Vinko Globokar, George Crumb, Gerhard Staebler, Kunsu Shim, Roscoe Mitchell, Salvatore Sciarrino, Malcolm Goldstein, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Essl, Mathias Spahlinger, Burkhard Stangl, John Wolf Brennan, Guillermo Gregorio and others. In the area of improvised music, he has played in concert with Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, William Parker, Roscoe Mitchell, Jim O'Rourke, Mats Gustafson, Taku Sugimoto, Carl Stone, Werner Dafeldecker, Otomo Yoshihide, Radu Malfatti and many others. His recordings include several projects with Jim O'Rourke and Gastr del Sol, as well as Tony Conrad, John Wolf Brennan and Christian Wolfarth, Gulliermo Gregorio, Anthony Braxton, Mats Gustafsonand others.
Scott Rosenberg is a multi-reed player and composer, and the founder of Barely Auditable Records. Over the past several years, Rosenberg has performed all over the U.S. and in Europe with the likes of: Pauline Oliveros, Anthony Braxton, Christian Wolff, Helen Thorington, Eugene Chadbourne, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Glenn Spearman, Dan Plonsey, Gino Robair, Chris Brown, Matt Ingalls, Brenda Hutchinson, Jeb Bishop, Luc Hautkamp, Ralph Carney, Marco Eneidi, Maggi Payne, Tim Perkis, Toshi Makihara, and many others. He currently resides in Paris.
Weasel Walter b. 1972 Composer/multi-instrumentalist specializing in confrontation, chaos and asymmetry of form. Founding member of Chicago-based No Wave/Free Jazz/Death Metal ensemble The Flying Luttenbachers (since 1991). Has appeared on more than 50 recordings as a leader, band member or side person and performed more than 600 concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe. Has made and/or recorded improvised music with Kevin Drumm, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jeb Bishop, Nandor Nevai, Jim O'Rourke, Michael Zerang, Jeff Parker, Ken Vandermark, Hal Russell a.o.
Percussionist, improvisor and composer Michael Zerang was born in 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. He has co-founded and performed with the musical groups Liof Munimula, The Neutrino Orchestra, Trio Troppo, The Wonderfuls, The Blue Angels, Sam Pappas' Tumbling Strains, Frozen Lucy, The Quirt Quintet, Musica Menta, The Vandermark Quartet, Dream Cheese, The Sputter Ensemble, In Zenith, and Broken Wire . In addition to these ensembles, Zerang currently performs with many innovative musicians including AACM co-founder Fred Anderson, Mats Gustafsson, Raymond Strid, Sten Sandell, Don Meckley, Jaap Blonk, Daniel Scanlan, Peter Brötzmann, Kent Kessler, Barre Phillips, Jim Baker, Hamid Drake, Ken Vandermark, Luc Hautkamp, and Fred Lonberg-Holm. He has recorded for Okka Disc, boxMEDIA, Kontrans, Southport, Quinnah, Eighth Day Music, Garlic, and Platypus, labels as well as many others.
Apart from the attention of a few notable exceptions (Yusef Lateef, Sonny Simmons) the oboe and cor anglais have never managed to establish themselves as legit "jazz" instruments, (unlike the clarinet, which rode into the emerging world of American popular music on the wave of early twentieth century Eastern European immigration), while in the domain of contemporary classical music the oboe has retained a strong presence, thanks in no small part to the virtuosity of Heinz Holliger, as both performer and composer. In the light of recent developments in oboe technique called for by younger composers, many of whom writing with Holliger in mind, it's clear the instrument is perfectly suited to the demands of today's improvised music: in the hands of a great player it's as agile as any clarinet, and just as capable of multiphonics and extended techniques as the saxophone. On the strength of his second album after his solo "Entymology" on Barely Auditable a couple of years back, Chicago-based Kyle Bruckmann is just such a player: "And" is a collection of duets pitting his oboe, cor, suona (a Chinese double-reed instrument) and raita against the cream of the crop of Chicago improvisors - percussionists Michael Zerang and Weasel Walter, bass clarinettists Gene Coleman and Scott Rosenberg, trombonist Jeb Bishop, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and Jim Baker on synthesizer (shame we aren't told what synth either, since the sounds Baker gets out of it are incredible). Whereas Bruckmann's first album showcased his virtuoso playing, "And" reveals he's just as capable of virtuoso listening: he can take on Zerang and Bishop in the outer reaches of instrumental technique, craft beautiful and coherent melodic lines with the clarinettists, hit multiphonics dead on as cleanly as John Butcher, and if need be blow the hell out of the upper register - quite a feat on a double-reed instrument - to produce a screaming high-end Sachiko M would be proud of. All this before going the distance with the ebullient Weasel Walter in a final round worthy of Brötzmann.