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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis/ Darren Johnston / Larry Ochs: Empty Castles

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Rempis / Daisy Duo & Guests: Dodecahedron

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Saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Tim Daisy have been performing together in Chicago for decades. Their voices have been heard in Ken Vandermark's Audio One, Resonance Ensemble and The Vandermark Five, Triage (with Jason Ajemian), and their own projects, Rempis' Quartet, The Engines, Percussion Quartet (with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Frank Rosaly) and Daisy's Celebration Sextet and Fulcrum Ensemble. More recently, they can be heard in trio with the exciting new pianist Matt Piet. If the bill has one or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis / Matt Piet / Tim Daisy: Throw Tomatoes

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There is something about the trio recording Throw Tomatoes that brings to mind the distinction between yin and yang. Not that there is a clear difference between the two, as in yang yoga and yin yoga, where the same movement can be either (to a degree) and both. In music, a classically trained musician would be considered more yang than yin and an improvisational one, such as Ornette Coleman with his violin performances, more yin. With musicians such ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis: Lattice

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Since the AACM pioneered solo instrumental performance it has become a rite of passage for most creative musicians. In some ways the surprise is that saxophonist Dave Rempis, as one of the most fluent improvisers of his generation, has waited until now to record his first unaccompanied recital. That he rises to the challenge should be less of a surprise. Rempis initially came to prominence in the Vandermark 5 serving as a compelling foil to the leader, but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Rempis Percussion Quartet: Cochonnerie

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An unchanged line up on the eighth release from saxophonist Dave Rempis' Percussion Quartet signals a generous helping of rowdy energy and inspired oratory. As the name implies, the drums loom large with two distinctive practitioners in Tim Daisy on the left and Frank Rosaly on the right well separated in the mix (from information supplied by Rempis, not on the sleeve), fuelling the leader's stratospheric flights. Bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, well-known as one third of The Thing and a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis: Lattice

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I recall an interview with a lionized baby boomer saxophonist, who told the story of listening to side one, and only side one, of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965). He was reluctant to turn the LP over (this was in the pre-digital era), thinking side two could never match the majesty of “Acknowledgement" and “Resolution." One could have a similar experience with track one of saxophonist Dave Rempis' Lattice. His six-minute take on Billy Strayhorn's “A Flower Is ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...