Jazz bassist Kent Kessler is best known for his part in numerous Chicago bands, usually in line-ups with reedsman Ken Vandermark. He first began appearing on recordings in the early '90s as a member of Hal Russell's NRG Ensemble.
The band continued after Russell's death in 1992 with the addition of clarinetist and saxophonist Ken Vandermark. Kessler and Vandermark went on to play together in a number of bands that have revitalized Chicago's jazz scene, putting it back on the map of current avant-garde and free jazz.
The Vandermark 5, DKV Trio and Steelwool Trio are just some of the many groups that feature Kent Kessler's wide and gritty sound. He has performed and recorded with a number of leading European improvisers, such as German powerhouse Peter Br Ãtzmann (in his Chicago Tentet), Swedish avant-garde saxophonist Mats Gustafsson (in FJF), acclaimed Dutch pianist Misha Mengelberg, and Dutch avant- garde saxophonist Luc Houtkamp. Kessler has also worked with legends that are closer to home, including Joe McPhee and Fred Anderson!
Through his many projects, Kent Kessler has toured all over North America and Europe and has performed on an increasing number of albums per year, mostly on the Chicago labels Okkadisk and Atavistic.