Spaceways Inc. was first brought together in the Spring of 1999 to help celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Empty Bottle Jazz Series in Chicago. Hamid Drake (drums), and Ken Vandermark (reeds) have been working together regularly since the Summer of 1994, particularly in the critically acclaimed improvisation unit, the DKV TRIO. Nate McBride (basses) and Vandermark have also had a long term relationship in music, involving projects held in Boston since the early 90s, the Barrage Double Trio in 1994, and most recently, the trio Tripleplay (with Curt Newton on drums). But it has been in Spaceways Inc. that the unique axis of Drake, McBride and Vandermark has been able to really develop.
The initial version of the project focused on the work of George Clinton's Funkadelic and Sun Ra's various ensembles. SPACEWAYS took those ideas about Funk and Free Jazz and brought them someplace new on the album 13 Cosmic Standards (Atavistic, 2000). During a tour of Austria in the Spring of 2001, the trio talked about further developing the stylistic polarities suggested by the pieces of Clinton and Ra by applying them to compositions of their own. Spaceways followed though on this idea with the work recorded in August 2001 for the cd, Version Soul (Atavistic, 2002). This document expands on the hard funk/free jazz intersection of the first record and includes elements of reggae, "cool school" jazz, Southern back beats, and "new music" abstractions.
With each successive performance, Spaceways Inc. sinks deeper into the territory they found between what some listeners initially thought were disparate musics. This trio pulls them together through heavy communication and their ability to find the groove that connects creative music, no matter how incongruous a sense of abstraction or ass swinging the pulse may initially seem.
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