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Ken Aldcroft: Biography

Ken Aldcroft
1969 - 2016
Region: Ontario

Ken Aldcroft

As a guitarist, Ken Aldcroft extended the jazz tradition that lay at the core of his music education. Through his commitment to a wide-open field of musical influence and to forging new collaborative ties, Ken systematically sought new and challenging contexts in which to improvise. As a result, his playing reflected the breadth of his interests, from the extended bebop of a jazz repertory project like Hat & Beard, performing the music of Thelonious Monk, to the language of free improvisation that he explored in collective improvisational settings such as collaborations with NY bassist William Parker and saxophonist Andy Haas or one-off performances with many artists, including Wilbert DeJoode, Joe McPhee, John Oswald and Lori Freedman. This variety came into fullest view with Ken's three solo recordings; "Mister, Mister" (2015), "Home: Solo Guitar Compositions" (2011) and "Vocabulary: Solo Guitar Improvisations" (2009), all passionate musical reflections on his ongoing development as an improvising guitarist. As a bandleader, Ken's projects provided increasingly nuanced contexts for his compositional and ensemble related ideas. The evolution of the Ken Aldcroft Convergence Ensemble reflected his development as well as the expanding scope of music played by groups under his leadership. While his Group, Quartet and Trio + 1, his trio of projects during the early 2000s, synthesized models from jazz and derivative musical traditions, the Convergence Ensemble expanded the frame of stylistic reference and conceptual depth considerably. The six recordings by the Convergence Ensemble on Trio Records are clear testimony to this fact.