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Jazz Articles | Blog

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis/Joshua Abrams/Avreeayl Ra + Jim Baker: Perihelion

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These days, it's a luxury to have a working jazz band. It's funny to think in those terms, isn't it? Sure, that was a nice record, you think. But modern musicians, particularly jazz musician often play in multiple ensembles, in theatre productions, teach music lessons privately, and curate local music series. These things are often accomplished after their day jobs. So, yes, it is a luxury to have a working jazz band. Saxophonist Dave Rempis has several working ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Reed Quartet: Western Automatic

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After a heyday in the late 1970s which saw the World Saxophone Quartet, ROVA and the 29th Street Saxophone Quartet, to list but three of the more celebrated, strutting their stuff, the format has undergone a hiatus more recently. However it remains firmly established as an instrumental configuration and perhaps the only surprise is that it has taken so long for a Chicago version to emerge. That deficit has been filled by saxophonist Dave Rempis, who has convened a foursome ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Dave Rempis: Zen Master

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The best application of philosophy to improvised music is the Chinese concept of “wu-wei." The best translation of this is “no trying." Many listeners have the false impression that it takes a sophisticated ear or at least years of listening to “get" improvised music. Actually, the opposite is true. The key is wu-wei or the art of trying not to try. That's why children effortlessly absorb and assimilate free jazz; they simply have no blocks to the spontaneity of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wooley - Rempis - Niggenkemper - Corsano: From Wolves To Whales

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Heavy-duty improvisers, saxophonist Dave Rempis and trumpeter Nate Wooley comprise a union of Chicago and New York artists who share a similar vision. Thus, From Wolves To Whales marks the quartet's debut album. As anticipated, the musicians delve deep into the outside schema of jazz amid a largely aggressive mode of attack. With hustling cadences, energized soloing and all the customary trimmings, the band acutely morphs the improv platform with semi-structured song-forms. And while the free jazz connotations are intact, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis / Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs: Spectral

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"Invisible Architecture" is a self-coined concept that characterizes the raison d'être of this experienced, free improvisational trio. The three first met first in the fall of 2011, when alto sax player Dave Rempis journeyed from his home in Chicago to the West Coast, to collaborate with like-minded compatriots from the Bay Area scene. Trumpeter Darren Johnston, a frequent visitor to Chicago and collaborator of Rempis, suggested that the two join with saxophonist Larry Ochs, of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet, to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis / Lasse Marhaug: Naancore

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Naancore adds another chapter to the Chicago-Oslo musical axis. This limited edition LP (offered also as a digital download) brings together one of the most original Norwegian musicians, noise master Lasse Marhaug with one of Chicago's most active saxophonists Dave Rempis. The two like-minded, fearless musicians collaborated before in Ken Vandermark's Territory Band, when Marhaug guested in a performance of Remis' Ballister trio in Philadelphia and in a live set of an ad- hoc quintet that featured Dutch vocal artist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rempis - Johnston - Ochs: Spectral

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For this nascent record label's sixth offering, Chicago-based saxophonist Dave Rempis unites with West Coast modernists, saxophonist Larry Ochs (The Rova Saxophone Quartet) and trumpeter Darren Johnston who has been all over the jazz map these days. Here, the trio hunkers down and prepares for battle via cyclonic three-way flurries, dappled with polytonal hues and expansive horizons, occasionally throttled with subversive dialogues and a few tetchy conversations. Moreover, the press notes intimate the group's initial comfort zone, but their ensuing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis / Lasse Marhaug: Naancore

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When you've been through the desert on a horse with no name, as the 1971 song by the band America goes, it feels good to be out of the rain. Indeed, music crafted outside of genres and categories often evokes that horse with no name. This duo by Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis and Oslo electronics/noise artist Lasse Marhaug reminds you that words can barely scrape the surface of this improvised noise. Unlike the “Horse With No Name," there is someone ...


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