Vandermark / Nilssen-Love Duo


Ken Vandermark (US) - Saxophones & clarinets

Paal Nilssen-Love (NO) - Drums & Percussion


Vandermark and Nilssen-Love started their collaboration in 2000 when the group School Days was formed. One year later they started FME, a trio with bass player Nate McBride. After this it seemed very natural to define a duo. The first occasion for this format was when they recorded the cd ”Dual Pleasure” in Oslo during the summer of 2002. Shortly after this they performed their first duo concert at Molde International Jazz Festival.
“Dual Pleasure” was released by the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound and has received excellent reviews, for example this statement by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (Terje Mosnes): “This is free improvised music of very high energy. Vandermark is stretching the tenor, baritone saxophone and Bb clarinet in a continuous flow of tones and timbres, whilst the Stavanger-drummer Nilssen-Love proves his reputation of being the avant-garde jazz’ most powerful mallet and stick wizard. However, Vandermark’s logical lines stir the flow of energy. Though tonal and rhythmic patterns/structures appear, the duo does not seek simple solutions. This is raw music, with a brutal beauty, which becomes more and more exhilarating the more you let the music take control of body and mind and set aside the normal understanding of nice and ugly.”

Vandermark is also known for the work with his own quintet the Vandermark 5, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, the Territory Band, Spaceways Inc., and the DKV Trio. In 1999 Vandermark was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, previous recipients of this prize in the field of music include Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and Max Roach. He has also been was voted ”Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” in the critic's poll of the American jazz magazine Down Beat, both as composer and as a tenor saxophonist, every year since 2000.

Nilssen-Love has, during the last couple of years, established himself on the international scene as a powerful drummer with high energy and creativity. In 2002 he was "Artist in Residence" at Molde International Jazz Festival, a title Chick Corea and Pat Metheny held in previous years. After 7 days and 9 concerts at the festival, Down Beat stated, "His week at Molde proved a revelation: Nilssen-Love is one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz."

Their musical expression results from the influence of several traditions, both geographic and historical. In this duo, Vandermark and Nilssen-Love use free improvisation as a means to explore all levels of dynamics, density, rhythm, timbre, form and tonality. The results of their work are experienced as intense, exhilarating, and boundary breaking.

Other recordings available with Vandermark and Nilssen-Love are: School Days, "Crossing Division,” Okkadisk OD 12037; School Days, "In Our Times," Okkadisk OD 12041 - The Thing and School Days, "The Music of Norman Howard,” Anagram LP 001; FME, "Live at Glenn Miller Café,” Okkadisk OD 10007; FME, "Underground,” Okkadisk; Atomic School Days, "Nuclear Assembly Hall," Okkadisk OD 12049; Territory Band-3, “Map Theory,” Okkadisk.

Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love


Smalltown Superjazzz STSJ 119CD


Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love

Dual Pleasure 2



Ken Vandermark, Paal Nilssen-Love

Dual Pleasure




1. Flashpoint
2. Anno 1240
3. Closed Doors, Open Windows
4. Storefront Materials
5. Jean S
6. Dual Fiction


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