Free Fall

Ken Vandermark - clarinets
Håvard Wiik - grand piano
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten - acoustic bass

The trio Free Fall was organized by bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, reedist Ken Vandermark, and pianist Håvard Wiik in 2001 as an opportunity to work together in a chamber music environment and without percussion. Inspired in part by Jimmy Giuffre's classic group with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow, the band quickly found its own voice, utilizing velocity, space, and sound by incorporating combinations of pulse-based and open time, distributing melodic responsibility through its fragmentation, and building expression through a dialectic between understatement and explosiveness.

The group's musical conception is built on their familiarity with developments in improvised music since the middle 1960's (such as the work of the AACM, Anthony Braxton, and European improvisers like Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Misha Mengelberg, and Peter Brötzmann); as well as their interest in 20th century composition (in particular Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, John Cage, Morton Feldman, and György Ligeti), all of whom have considerably shifted the architectural possibilities of music.

Free Fall have always performed their own compositions and released their first album, called "Furnace," (on Wobbly Rail) to great acclaim in 2002. After extensive tours in Europe and the United States, the trio went back into the studio during November 2004, to record its second album, "Amsterdam Funk." This was issued on the Norwegian label, smalltownsuperjazz, with whom they have continued to collaborate. In addition to highlighting the band's developing communication and compositional strategies, the second recording included freely improvised performances for the first time- a parallel and equally powerful way of performing by the trio. Continued work in Europe and North America led to the developments of "The Point In A Line," recorded in Chicago during the summer of 2006. This album was released by smalltown in 2007, and included both new compositions and total improvisations.

Their activity as a group escalated in 2008, with a featured performance at the Vancouver Jazz Festival, a recording of completely improvised music in Germany, and another extensive tour of Europe that brought them to Moscow for the first time. This new music will come out in time for a March 2010, tour of the United States. Then, in November, they will again tour Europe and plan to head back to Germany to record a new collection of short pieces for improvisers.