School Days




The group SCHOOL DAYS was formed in the Spring of 2000. Originally a quartet put together by reedist Ken Vandermark, the ensemble was expanded in the Fall of that year in order to add the Swedish vibist Kjell Nordeson to the ensemble. The other members of the band are trombonist Jeb Bishop and, from Norway, the bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.

Though a relatively new ensemble, the band contains a number of long standing musical relationships within it: Bishop and Vandermark have been working together in the critically acclaimed VANDERMARK 5 for the last five years; Vandermark joined the the internationally renowned AALY, which features Nordeson on the drums, in 1996; and Haker Flaten and Nilssen-Love have been working together as one of the most in demand rhythm sections on the Norwegian free-jazz scene since the middle 1990s.

SCHOOL DAYS released its first recording, Crossing Division, on the Okka Disk label in the end of 2000. It was recorded by the quartet version of the group in Chicago during March of that year, and features original compositions by Bishop and Vandermark as well as two pieces by Roswell Rudd. Esthetically, the band derives much of its inspiration from the classic ensembles of the 1960s free-jazz period in the United States, groups like Ornette Coleman’s Quartet, Cecil Taylor’s Units, and Archie Shepp’s New York Contemporary Five. SCHOOL DAYS also builds on developments that have occurred in improvised music during the years since then, however. The work of Peter Brotzmann, Misha Mengelberg, Evan Parker, and Anthony Braxton has made an important impact on the ensemble; which has resulted in an approach to improvised music that is compositionally based, but highly spontaneous, containing a tremendous open ended rhythmic and melodic intensity.

Aside from the work done in Chicago to record Crossing Division, the group also toured Scandinavia in November of 2000 (with Nordeson included on vibes). In 2001 SCHOOL DAYS toured the West Coast of the North America in May/June, and in November they returned to Scandinavia for a series of concerts and to record their second album. This was released in May 2002 by Okka Disk under the title In Our Times. The band toured Europe during the Spring of 2002 and the U.K. in November of that year. Their most recent recording, Nuclear Assembly Hall, was in made collaboration with the Scandinavian group, Atomic, during August of 2002 and will be released on Okka Disk in March of 2003.

The Thing + School Days

The Music of Norman Howard

Anagram Records (12" LP)


School Days

In Our Times



1. Another Double
2. Off the Top
3. What About
4. Shift
5. Octopus
6. Loose Blues
7. Elephantasy

School Days

Crossing Division



1. Bookworm
2. Counteraction
3. Broad Daylight
4. Passenger
5. Rosmosis
6. Get On The Plane
7. Smoke Rings
8. Keep Your Heart Right


Atomic School Days


Butcher/Nilssen-Love Duo



Frode Gjerstad Trio

Gustafsson/Nilsson-Love Duo

Marhaug/Nilssen-Love Duo


Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet

School Days

Scorch Trio


Sten Sandell Trio

Territory Band

The Thing

Townhouse Orchestra

Two Bands and a Legend

Vandermark/Nilssen-Love Duo

Yagi/Brötzmann/Nilssen-Love Trio