How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Second Spring is one of two concurrent releases for Chicago reedman Dave Rempis' young Aerophonics Records label. The other outing Aphelion, features the artist's regular working trio. Here, Rempis aligns with longtime kindred spirit, drummer Tim Daisy
for a rather aggressive, high-impact duo framework. At times Daisy's busy and highly active drumming patterns could easily be mistaken for two drummers laying out the grooves in simultaneous fashion. Therefore, the duo sports a large, hustling and bustling soundstage, where they push and prod each other while also switching gears along the way.
The duo is largely on fire throughout. Daisy often operates in hyper-drive mode, integrating the Latin element, and sweeping polyrhythmic fills with free-bop and asymmetrical pulses. Indeed, the artists go for the gusto. Rempis' blazing choruses are topped off with swirling arpeggios, and passages that are devised with serrated edges amid subtle nuances and animated forays. They eschew any process that may seem maudlin or overly sentimental, but Rempis tones it down during the inward-looking ballad "For R. Barry," where he intersperses numerous shadings and tonalities.
The musicians engage in some knock-down, drag-out episodes and push each other to the hilt. Rempis' burly tone and scorching free- form improvisations sometimes elicit notions of rage or discontent, often radiated with upper-register vibrato phrasings. But they delve into a bit of avant-garde minimalism on "Frijoleo," leading to fiercely rendered climactic overtures as the saxophonist's trance-like and tumultuous cadenzas towards the finale ride atop Daisy's snappish, bop pulse. Self-assured and irrefutably powerful, the musicians do what they do best. It's an improvisational feast that leaves no stone unturned.
Track Listing: Impasto; Numbers Lost; Three Flags; Frijoleo; For R. Barry; Gerosten and
Personnel: Dave Rempis: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone; Tim Daisy: percussion.