13

Kuzu: Purple Dark Opal

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Kuzu: Purple Dark Opal
Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis has recorded thirty albums as a leader and more than another thirty as a sideman. Best known for his own Rempis Percussion Quartet and the Vandermark Five, the free jazz legend teams up with guitarist Tashi Dorji and drummer Tyler Damon, under the name Kuzu. Purple Dark Opal is their third release, following Hiljaisuus (Astral Spirits, 2018) and Lift To Drag (Medium Sound, 2019) which was only released on cassette.

Dorji was raised in Bhutan, in the Himalayas, and has been living in North Carolina since 2000. His unconventional approach to the guitar takes listeners through a maze of soundscapes; wild improvisations appear like pop-ups in unnerving stillness. Dorji and Damon have released four duo albums in a vein similar to Purple Dark Opal. Damon is a Chicago-based artist who operates his own label, Yoke, and had hosted a free-form/experimental radio program called "Melody Unasked For" in Bloomington, Indiana.

Rempis and company like extended improvisation. Their debut consisted of three long ones, Lift To Drag, two, and Purple Dark Opal, just one fifty-five minute marathon. It is a live workout for the band, recorded at a 2018 concert in Milwaukee. It is a workout for the listener as well. "To The Quick" opens with a three-minute drum solo, joined by Rempis playing serpentine lines around Damon. When Dorji's guitar enters, its sound is alien, between a gentle hum and an angry hornet. With that, Rempis' sax seems to take flight in pursuit and the guitar morphs into a more natural form. Not yet a quarter of the way in, all hell breaks loose. At intervals the music rests, breathes, then explodes again, eventually drifting into an unearthly haze.

Purple Dark Opal requires multiple listens to absorb its various elements. On the initial run-through, it is exhausting, feeling like an immersion course in an extra-terrestrial language. It is music which overlaps free improvisation, rock, industrial noise, drone, and less identifiable elements. Purple Dark Opal is for audacious listeners and it isn't like anything else.

Track Listing

To The Quick.

Personnel

Dave Rempis: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone; Tyler Damon: drums; Tashi Dorji: guitar.

Album information

Title: Purple Dark Opal | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Aerophonic Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read ALQE
ALQE
Antti Lotjonen Quintet East
Read Apura!
Apura!
Karl Evangelista
Read McModal
McModal
Markos Chaidemenos

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.