The Chicago Reader
has called the Rempis Percussion Quartet "the best live band in town, which could very well be true, as long as the Vandermark 5 is away. Of course, the two bands share a drummer (Tim Daisy) and saxophonist Dave Rempis (here on alto, tenor and baritone) who, in the last few years, has established his own reputation as a tirelessly creative improviser and who, by Ken Vandermark's own admission, has pretty much outstripped him in terms of proficiency and virtuosity. Rempis is the talent to watch.
Recorded live at the Hunter-Gatherer club in Columbia, South Carolina in April 2006, Hunter-Gatherers
spreads ninety-six minutes of music over two discs, and is a testament to the boundless creativity and seemingly inexhaustible energy of this youthful band. Depending on your sensibility, the sound is either authentically raw, or a notch above bootleg, with bassist Anton Hatwich virtually inaudible. The drummers are somewhat indistinguishable, as well, but they don't call this the Percussion Quartet for nothing: Daisy and compadre Frank Rosaly keep things moving and flexible, and interject Latin, funk and a few Afrobeat licks where necessary.
Rempis sounds great; sprightly on alto, penetrating on tenor, expansive on baritone. In what is essentially a saxophone trio, Rempis does the work of two horn men, shouldering the burden of making these relatively long, freely improvised tunes shape-shift as if both the destination, as well as the journey, were preplanned. In fact, Rempis' playing demonstrates such continuity and is so rich with ideas and free from cliché and repetition, that it's easy to forgive the drum solos (or duets, as the case may be). The guy needs a breather every once in awhile.
Personnel: Tim Daisy: drums; Anton Hatwich: bass; Dave Rempis: saxophone; Frank Rosaly: drums.