Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Dave Rempis/ Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs: Empty Castles

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
The trio Spectral might best be examined in the aviary of your local zoo. Trumpeter Darren Johnstonand saxophonists Dave Rempis and Larry Ochs are like three different bird species, but share the same genus. Their "song" is built from the unique coop in which they find themselves.

The music on "Empty Castles," their third release following the self-titled 2014 debut and a digital only release, Neutral Nation (Aerophonic, 2016), accentuates that aviary approach. The music was recorded in a 12,000-square foot abandoned munitions bunker situated in the northeast corner of San Francisco Bay. The unique space created a natural (and unalterable) reverb which the players had to factor into their performance. Somewhat like Pauline Oliveros' cistern recordings, the sound echoes, making this trio huge and, well, honking.

Ochs of the famed ROVA Saxophone Quartet and Johnston (The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, and Lisa Mezzacappa) make up the West Coast component of Spectral, while Rempis brings the Chicago touch. The music is made up of the song of birds, the growl of the primary, and the chirping of the flock. Much of the music is a three-way call-and-response, taking into account the unique acoustics of the bunker. The brightness of the sound is memorable and it affords no hiding place. Each player has to deal with both sound and silence. The latter being the policeman here. Spectral, by definition refers to a disembodied ghostliness, and that may be the best descriptor of the sounds here.  

Track Listing: Dave Rempis: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone; Darren Johnston: trumpet; Larry Ochs: sopranino saxophone, tenor saxophone.

Personnel: Dirt Angels; This Is Not Vermont; Luminal; Brooklyn Took It; Splash Zone; Protest Portal; Little Hymn; Bunker; Gravity Corridor.  

Title: Empty Castles | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Aerophonic Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Empty Castles

Empty Castles

Aerophonic Records
2018

buy
Spectral

Spectral

Aerophonic Records
2014

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019
Read Inner Rhyme Album Reviews
Inner Rhyme
By Hrayr Attarian
February 17, 2019
Read Yuna Album Reviews
Yuna
By Glenn Astarita
February 17, 2019
Read Places Album Reviews
Places
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 17, 2019
Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019