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Jazz Police – Dave King Trucking Company's Midwest Tour, at the …


Dave King Trucking Company Andrea Canter

Peel any page from Dave King s touring calendar and you ll like see gigs with The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, the Dave King Trio and Halloween, Alaska. Or the Dave King Trucking Company. The DKTC (King, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Speed, Adam Linz, Erik Fratzke) was launched in 2010 during a two-night King extravaganza at the Walker Art Center. This weekend, King and his full company hold a meltdown at the Icehouse in Minneapolis, June 6-7, 11 pm. It’s the finale of a Midwest Tour celebrating the vinyl release of Adopted Highway.

Dave King


Dave King Andrea Canter

Drummer Dave King might be best known for his long-standing work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple, but his affiliations hardly end there. In fact, at any given moment, King is likely involved in at least ten projects ranging from the jazz oriented Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Chris Speed Trio, Craig Taborn s Junk Magic, and Buffalo Collision to rock bands like Halloween, Alaska and impossible-to-define electronic outfits like Gang Font. King grew up in the Twin Cities, starting off on piano at age four before switching to drums in fifth grade. As a teen he forged his early music connections with fellow Golden Valley residents Reid Anderson and Craig Taborn, whose paths would intersect again and again (including in the aptly named band, Golden Valley Is Now). He attended Cooper High School and the MacPhail Center for Music, studying jazz and rock.

At 19, King headed west, working as a session musician in LA in the early 90s before returning to the Twin Cities to find his own voice. “I always wanted to be in the mix, he told the Pioneer Press some years ago, to help design and define the sound of the ensemble rather than just be the guy who plays drums.” Soon he helped design and define the sound of Happy Apple, the trio that came together in 1996, ultimately completed with saxophonist Michael Lewis and electric bassist Erik Fratzke and straddling avant garde jazz and alternative rock. In addition to his discography with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple, and his appearances on a long list of other recordings, King released a solo album combining his skills as drummer, pianist and composer, Indelicate (2010, Sunnyside); in fall 2012, his new Dave King Trio with Bill Carrothers and Billy Peterson released the well-received I ve Been Ringing You (Sunnyside).


Dave King Trucking Company Andrea Canter

Whatever the band of the moment or decade, King remains the Energizer Bunny of drummers, both in terms of his frenetic musical wizardry and his simultaneous association with numerous and diverse bands. Traditional approaches to percussion have never appealed to King, whose technique is described by Matt Peiken (St. Paul Pioneer Press) as relying on incredible finger control to nuance his fills, which often defy the neat subdivisions of typical beats. Similarly idiosyncratic is King s collection of instruments that includes walkie talkies and children s toys. “What’s considered banal pop drumming is never going to be my thing,” King says. “But my thing will not work with everyone. I need to have people who trust where I’m coming from, people with me who will think ‘King’s on the gig — something’s probably going to happen.’ “

With the Dave King Trucking Company, something s going to happen as he meshes with Wozniak, Speed, Fratzke and Linz.

The Trucking Company


Brandon Wozniak and Adam Linz Andrea Canter

The concept of the Trucking Company sound, according to Dave, is as if the great Nashville bands of the ’60s and ’70s could improvise and were Coltrane fanatics. In other words, roots music meets sheets of sound? A year into their collaboration, the Trucking Company released its first CD (Good Old Light) and toured on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the past three years has appeared locally (usually as a quartet without New York-based Speed) at the Artists Quarter, Studio Z, Dakota, and Icehouse. Their latest “vinyl only” recording (Adopted Highway) was released last fall.

Saxman Brandon Wozniak previously lived and worked in New York City, toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and earned his BA from Indiana University under the tutelage of David Baker. Since returning home to the Twin Cities in 2006, he has performed with a long list of local bands, and currently plays with the Atlantis Quartet, Monk in Motian, Zacc Harris Group, Chris Bates Quintet, Bryan Nichols Quintet, the Adam Meckler Quintet, Impulso and a new trio with Linz and Eric Kamau Gravatt. He s also been leading a fluid ensemble many Tuesday nights at the Artists Quarter, and will release his debut recording later this year.


Dave King and Chris Speed Andrea Canter

Seattle native Chris Speed is one of the most creative performers and composers in modern jazz. After studying classical piano from age 5, he started clarinet at age 11, and moved on to tenor sax and jazz in high school. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Speed relocated to New York, where he has been an integral part of the avant garde jazz scene for the past 20 years. Over his career, Speed has performed with such artists as Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, the Claudia Quintet, Alasnoaxis, The Clarinets, Myra Melford, Mark Dresser, Susie Ibarra, Erick Friedlander, Hank Roberts, Craig Taborn and Dave Douglas. He leads or co-leads Pachora, Human Feel, and Trio Iffy. In 2006, Chris held create Skirl Records, an artist-run collective supporting the Brooklyn-based new music community. Speed was last in town with the DKTC in March 2014.

Multi-instrumentalist/composer Erik Fratzke lends his bass to Happy Apple and his guitar to other projects, including Gang Font and Zebulon Pike. The Winona native started off on drums, switching to upright bass in fourth grade. Among early influences he cites his mother s record collection (including Bartok), MTV, classical string quartets, and later, the bass playing of Stanley Clarke, Jeff Berlin and Jaco Pastorious. Early in his career, he found himself playing jazz, metal, even Christian country rock. Over the years, the three-time Minnesota Music Awards winner as Bassist of the Year has played with Reid Anderson and Bill Carrothers in addition to Mike Lewis and Dave King.


Erik Fratzke Andrea Canter

Bassist Adam Linz performs regularly with Fat Kid Wednesdays, the Adam Meckler Quintet, Bryan Nichols Trio and just about any band, anywhere that demands a creative improviser. He’s performed and recorded solo bass, including his latest release, A Kiss for Luck, and has been heard dueling bassist Chris Bates with Japanese percussionist Tatsuha Nakatani and freely collaborating with Ellen Lease, Pat Moriarty and Phil Hey. Adam currently heads the jazz program at MacPhail and directs the Dakota Combo (student ensemble). He’s a frequent performer with local and touring artists at Cafe Maude, MacPhail, the Icehouse and more.

The Icehouse is located at 2528 Nicollet Av South in Minneapolis. Hear great music every night! The Dave King Trucking Company will follow the dinner sets from Jake Hanson and James Buckley (6:30 pm). Shows at 11 pm, cover $12; www.icehousempls.con1


  1. ^ www.icehousempls.con (www.icehousempls.con)

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