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Album Review

Dave Rempis / Tashi Dorji: Gnash

Read "Gnash" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The correct response to Jeopardy gameshow answer Gnash is, “what is KUZU minus one"? The established trio (KUZU) of saxophonist Dave Rempis, guitarist Tashi Dorji, and drummer Tyler Damon have toured extensively and released five discs since their formation in 2018. Here, Damon stepped aside to allow Rempis and Dorji to tour as a duo in 2023 and early 2024. This session was captured at The Sugar Maple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in January 2024. We would be remiss ...

Album Review

Ballister: Smash and Grab

Read "Smash and Grab" reviewed by Mark Corroto

A listener might have a premonition when they drop the needle on the hot pink vinyl version or push the play button on the CD or digital download of Smash And Grab by the trio Ballister. They understand, or have knowledge by way of the trio's ten previous releases, that a storm awaits them. The trio of saxophonist Dave Rempis, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love conjure a tempest of sound that simply refuses to become background music.

Album Review

Rempis Percussion Quartet: Harvesters

Read "Harvesters" reviewed by Mark Corroto

A couple quotes from the 1980s' film The Blues Brothers starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd seem appropriate for Harvesters, the double album by The Rempis Percussion Quartet. Elwood Blues: “It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses." Jake Blues: “Hit It...we're on a mission from God... we're getting the band back together." In all actuality, the Chicago residents, saxophonist Dave Rempis and ...

Album Review

Rempis / Abrams / Ra + Jim Baker: Scylla

Read "Scylla" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Avreeayl Ra sets the tone for this entire live set as his voice and mbira open Scylla, “this is for all the survivors." According to Greek mythology Scylla was a beautiful woman who turned into a monster with four eyes and six long snaky necks with heads, each containing three rows of shark's teeth and 12 tentacle legs plus six dog's heads wrapped her waist. Recorded deep into the Covid-19 pandemic, in July 2021, at Chicago's Elastic Arts, one would ...

Album Review

Dave Rempis: Chrysopoeia

Read "Chrysopoeia" reviewed by John Sharpe

Recorded at Krakow's legendary Alchemia just two days before Znachki Stilyag (Aerophonic Records, 2020), on the same European tour, the power trio Ballister comprising saxophonist Dave Rempis, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, demonstrates an astonishing level of consistency in terms of both energy and excellence. Chrysopoeia constitutes the triumvirate's tenth release over some dozen years of existence, one which confirms that time and familiarity yield multiple benefits. While two pieces well in excess of the 20-minute ...

Radio & Podcasts

The Gathering—Roots & Branches of Los Angeles Jazz, Survival Unit II & Hot Heroes

Read "The Gathering—Roots & Branches of Los Angeles Jazz, Survival Unit II & Hot Heroes" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

With only one opportunity left to program some music to recognize Black History Month, I decided to dedicate the last hour music by some of the great Black musicians making their own history (Andrew Cyrille, William Parker, Wadada Leo Smith and Graham Haynes & Oliver Lake of OGJB) and The Gathering: Roots And Branches of Los Angeles Jazz, an organization carrying on the work and ideas of Horace Tapscott and creating an outlet in L.A. for Black music and community. ...

Album Review

Dave Rempis / Elizabeth Harnik / Michael Zerang: Astragaloi

Read "Astragaloi" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Sometimes listening to free improvisational music is, truth be told, an act of social anthropology. Who is making music? How is the combination of individual instruments configured? Where are the musicians from? Maybe more significant, how has this musical society developed? Astragaloi from the trio of Dave Rempis, Elizabeth Harnik, and Michael Zerang could be a perfect study for scholars. It is Chicago (Rempis and Zerang) meets Graz, Austria (Harnik), but maybe more important, it is the evolution of the ...


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