A trailer for the new documentary Musician calls the versatile saxophonist and composer Ken Vandermark Chicago’s hardest-working musician. That’s a fitting description, considering his nearly 100 recordings as leader or sideman and his more than a dozen on-and-off ensembles spread between Chicago and Europe. Here we examine his sphere of influence.



photography: (vandermark) ziga koritnik, (sonic youth) amanda de cadenet, (barry) courtesy of thrill jockey, (sun ra) courtesy of the verve music group, (the sea and cake) jim newberry, (coctails) courtesy of carrot top records, (parker) jim newberry, (blur) courtesy of virgin records, (cherry) andy freeberg, (williams III) bill ross © shelton hank williams, (williams) courtesy of universal music group, all others courtesy of the artists