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Ken Schaphorst
Making Lunch  (AC-4201, released 1990)

The band's 1990 debut features the cream of the late '80's Boston jazz scene; many of these musicians are now emerging onto the international scene, with Mercer Ellington, Bobby Previte, Don Byron, Henry Threadgill and on their own. A full plate of Schaphorst originals, plus his take on Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments."

"The most interesting and contemporary large-ensemble jazz to come out of Boston in recent years."
-Rich Cromonic, Boston Phoenix

Personnel: Jay Brandford, as; John Carlson, tp, flh; John Dirac, g; Dave Finucane, ts; Andy Gravish, tp, flh; Jim Harp, dms; Curtis Hasselbring, tb; Hiro Honshuku, fl; Jerry Leake, perc; Dmitri Matheny, tp, flh; Donny McCaslin, ts; John Medeski, pn; Jim O'Dell, tuba; Mark Ortwein, bar.s, bsn; Josh Roseman, tb; Mark Taylor, fh; Dave Valdez, as; Wesley Wirth, bs.

Tracks: 1.Making Lunch; 2.Promise; 3.Intimations; 4.Stolen Moments; 5.Gospel Garden; 6.;7.;8.Chant...The Lashing of Tongues...Prayer.

After Blue  (AC-4202, released 1991)

This 1991 recording brings in the front line of the group Human Feel (Andrew D'Angelo and Chris Speed) along with bassist Chris Wood and Schaphorst Band stalwards John Medeski and trombonist Josh Roseman, for more originals and new arrangements of Ellington's "Warm Valley" and Ray Charles' "Rockhouse."

"The band is [Schaphorst's] instrument. That truism is as true here as it gets, since he cannily exploits the colors of his 18-piece group with a ferocious energy and an offbeat ear that will periodically turn you on yours just as Mingus meant to."
-Gene Santoro, Pulse

Personnel: Hiro Honshuku, fl; Jay Brandford, Andrew D'Angelo, as; Donny McCaslin, Chris Speed, ts; Kathy Halvorson, oboe, bar.s; John Carlson, Scott Cowan, Walter Platt, tp; Marshall Sealy, frh; Curtis Hasselbring, Josh Roseman, tb; Jim O'Dell, tuba; John Medeski, pn; John Dirac, g; Chris Wood, bs; Jim Harp, dms; Jerry Leake, perc.

Tracks: 1.After Blue; 2.Market Street; 3.Yes and No; 4.Cleopatra; 5.Going Up?; 6.J & K my A; 7.Warm Valley; 8.Blue Blood; 9.Rockhouse; 10.Before Light.

When the Moon Jumps (AC-4203, released 1993)

Trimmed down to ten pieces including two percussionists, the 1993 version of the band premieres "Concerto for John Medeski," supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Also included: "Con Alma," "All the Things You Are," and more Schaphorst originals.

"One of the most excitingly provocative large ensemble ventures that I've heard in years."
-Chuck Berg, JazzTimes

"This is what big band jazz will sound like in the next centruy." 

-Robert Tate, Jazz Now

"Four Stars - A surprisingly full, orchestral sound...vocalizing bass, sighing, growling horns, and a soulful, blues and roots feeling." 

-Jon Andrews, Down Beat

Personnel: Doug Yates, as, bcl; Donny McCaslin, ts, ss; John Carlson, Bob Levy, tp; Curtis Hasselbring, tb; John Dirac, g; John Medeski, pn; Chris Wood, bs; Dane Richeson, Billy Martin, perc.

Tracks:1. When the Moon Jumps; 2.Checkered Blues; 3.All the Things You Are; 4.Con Alma; 5.Stomping Around; 6.Perfect Machine; 7.Flowing; 8.Standing Still; 9.Flying.

Over the Rainbow: Music of Harold Arlen
 (AC-4204, released 1997)

Composer Ken Schaphorst (formerly from Boston and now teaching at Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin) has made a series of large ensemble records for Accurate records, featuring the cream of the Boston jazz scene. Now, he applies his arranging ideas to the very well-known music of Harold Arlen. Schaphorst sets tunes like "Out of this World," "Stormy Weather," "If I Only Had a Brain," "I've Got the World on a String," for a number of artists: Medeski, Martin & Wood (four tracks!), the Either/Orchestra, the Charlie Kohlhase Quintet, Dadadah, the Perfumed Scorpion, and Curtis Hasselbring.

With diverse material and musicians, it is the great songwriting of Arlen and the distinctive arranging of Schaphorst which unite this CD. All of the individual playing contributions are impressive, with Schaphorst's charts giving the artists the room to play their strong suits, yet taking them to new areas. This recording should be of great interest to several constituencies, including Medeski's rabid and ever-expanding flock, those who love Arlen's music, and the Accurate jazz following, for which this serves as a kind of sampler.

Track Listing:

1) Medeski, Martin & Wood - Out Of This World (5:58)

2) Perfumed Scorpion - The Man That Got Away (6:02)

John Carlson (trumpet), Douglas Yates (bass clarinet) and John Dirac (guitar)

3) Charlie Kohlhase Quintet - If I Only Had A Brain (5:19)

4) Medeski, Martin & Wood - Lullaby (3:57)

5) Perfumed Scorpion - Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead (2:50)

6) Janet Planet & John Harmon - Come Rain or Come Shine (5:49)

7) Medeski, Martin & Wood - Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive (3:28)

8) Either/Orchestra - Stormy Weather (5:48)

9) Perfumed Scorpion - Get Happy (3:48)

10) Medeski, Martin & Wood - Life's Full Of Consequence (5:34)

11) DaDadah - That Old Black Magic (7:12)

12) Curtis Hasselbring/Matt Turner/Dane Richeson - I've Got The World On A String (6:04)

13) Ken Schaphorst - Over The Rainbow (5:41)


All compositions by Harold Arlen

All arrangements by Ken Schaphorst 

Indigenous Technology (AC-5049, released 2003)

On Indigenous Technology, Schaphorst leaves behind the broad scope of the jazz orchestra, focussing on his own trumpet and piano, along with Matt Turner on cello and Dane Richeson on percussion. It's the first recording that has featured Schaphorst's playing as much as his writing.


Based in jazz, this CD falls somewhere between the group Oregon and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, combining a Schaphorst's distinctly American harmonic sense with melodies and rhythms that evoke music from around the world. Many of the pieces have a meditative quality, others have a more driving and earthy sound.


The trio here developed while Schaphorst served as chairman of the jazz program at Lawrence U., living in Wisconsin between 1991 and 2001. (He is currently chair of the jazz department at New England Conservatory, overseeing heavyweights like Steve Lacy, Cecil McBee, Danilo Perez, Paul Bley, etc.) Dane Richeson and Matt Turner were two of his closest musical allies during his Wisconsin days, and the music on Indigenous Technology was composed specifically for their three distinct voices. Best known as a jazz drummer, Richeson is featured here in a less traditional role on marimba, with percussion often played simultaneously, as in "See Through You," on which bells attached to Richeson's feet are used to keep time. On "Shades of Bronze" Dane plays almglocken (tuned cowbells) as well as marimba and an antique glockespiel in an effort to recreate some of the colors of the Balinese gamelan orchestra. Matt Turner elicits just about every conceivable sound out of the cello, from percussive strumming to explorations of harmonics. The traditional roles of the jazz ensemble are largely replaced by new ways of interacting.


Ken Schaphorst: trumpet, flugelhorn, piano

Matt Turner: cello

Dane Richeson: marimba, percussion