The reprise of the Rempis/Rosaly Duo comes after many changes in the musicians' lives. Their first session Cyrillic (482 Music, 2009) was recorded when both musicians made Chicago their home. Dave Rempis, probably best known for his work in Vandermark 5 back in 2009, was putting together his own groups such as The Engines and The Rempis Percussion Quartet, the latter of which had Frank Rosaly as a member, and starting a label, Aerophonic Records. With Rosaly moving to Amsterdam in 2016 their interactions are limited to a Rempis European tour or a Chicago visit by Rosaly, which was the occasion for this live recording at Elastic Arts in 2018.
The two discs contain four tracks, two of which "Patterns in Distance" and "Aletheia" are lengthy, clocking in at the thirty minute mark and two "Glitch" and "Air In Between" roughly ten minutes. The duo has made giant strides from Cyrillic which was mostly a blowing session and a fine one. Here the pair strive for a more nuanced sound by mixing quiet tones with the required vociferous passages. The duo maintain their need to, as they say, "make it new."
Opening with "Patterns In Distance," Rempis' baritone saxophone pivots from Lars Gullin to Colin Stetson, from romantic to mechanical music. A third of the way through, Rosaly drops his toolbox of percussion and the music veers into overblown tugboat-sounding passages. Another third of the song, and a whispered saxophone yields to Rosaly's percussion solo. We hear 2 legs and 3 arms (ok 2), but yearn for a visual. The drummer is a true equilibrist, walking a tightrope while juggling the pulse with sticks, bells, hands, and metal objects. The concluding third finds Rempis switching to tenor saxophone, and the music resolves to make listeners dance. There is plenty to explore in this outing and hopefully plenty more to be heard from Rempis and Rosaly in duo.
(CD1) Patterns In The Distance; Glitch; (CD2) Air In Between; Aletheia.
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