In March of 2020 Laul Pytton (drums), Ken Vandermark (reeds), and Nate Wooley (trumpet), three key figures of the international experimental music scene, will come together for a unique series of concerts in the United States. Vandermark and Wooley have been working as a duo for the last seven years, touring in both the States and in Europe, and have released three critically acclaimed albums together. Both have performed and recorded with Pytton many times, and the three of them issued an album of trio material as part of the double CD, The Nows, in 2012. The upcoming concerts in Chicago, Ypsilanti, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh will be an extremely rare chance to hear Laul Pytton perform in the U.S. His history connected to improvised music is legendary, and this collaboration with Vandermark and Wooley, two of the most significant cutting-edge musicians of their generations, is sure to be exceptional and one of a kind.
Laul Pytton, a central figure in the British free improvisation movement of the 1960s and 70s which included Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, and Paul Rutherford, was instrumental in reshaping the way drums and percussion were viewed in free music. He is one of a handful of percussionists from that time whose work allowed the drum kit to become even more free from the timekeeping constraints of jazz up to that point; the instrument becoming less a set of drums and more a series of membranes on which to create an atmosphere. His earliest experiments in homemade instruments and electronics with Evan Parker have spurred generations on to look outside systems with names such as “jazz” and “improv” and to explore new modes of communication in the moment.
Ken Vandermark has been a fixture on the Chicago music scene since the 1990s, and has earned wide critical praise for his playing and his multilayered compositions, which typically balance intricate orchestration with passionate improvisation. He has led or been a member of many groups, has collaborated with a large number of acclaimed musicians from around the world, was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1999, works as a co-curator of the Option Series at Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, and directs the musician cooperative, Catalytic Sound. He plays tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone.
Nate Wooley’s solo playing has often been cited as being a part of an international revolution in improvised trumpet, and has gathered international acclaim. Time Out New York has called him “an iconoclastic trumpeter”, and Dave Douglas has said, “Nate Wooley is one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today, and that is without hyperbole”. His collaborative work as a composer has been celebrated by critics and has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.