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...

163

The Engines: The Engines

Andrey Henkin By

Sign in to view read count
Let's try to get through this CD review without using the "V" word. Instead, let the eponymous debut of The Engines serve as a discussion starter on the idea of a larger Chicago aesthetic. The quartet—Jeb Bishop (trombone), Dave Rempis (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones), Nate McBride (basses, both acoustic and electric) and Tim Daisy (drums)—is drawn from the remarkably vibrant Windy City jazz and improvised music scene, as documented most assiduously by Okkadisk, headquartered just up the coast of Lake Michigan in Madison, Wisconsin. The Engines came into New York City in December, 2007, in support of this just-released Summer 2006 recording, to Union Hall, a hipster bocce bar where Rempis and Daisy had played back in February with...somebody.

The album and performance must be spoken about together, for if there is one thing shared by Chicago bands is that they record as they play live or vice versa. The 73-plus minutes of the album is as open and thorough as their live renditions, though only three tunes from the album made it into the set; this is another facet of Chicagoans—they seem to compose at a remarkable rate. All four members of the band contributed two pieces each to the album, and live Bishop and Rempis had two alongside a pair from McBride and Daisy. Perhaps it is because these four have played together so often and write for each other's strengths that the tunes, varied as they are texturally and dynamically, seem of a piece, a real band playing band music rather than the Bishop/Rempis/McBride/Daisy 4.

Is there is a Chicago aesthetic? And if so, where would it begin and how broadly can one subjugate an entire city to an artificial concept such as collective creativity? If there is something in common, it is an ability to maintain momentum through a liberal mixture of long and short tones, the blues and squeaky European avant-gardisms, through-composition and lots of tightly executed starts and stops, zigs and zags. Daisy and McBride, two of Chicago's expert rhythmateers, are responsible for much of the implementation with Bishop and Rempis, sorely missed as a regular small ensemble frontline, adding bombast and detail, often all at the same time. Bishop has become a well-respected trombonist in the progressive lineage—membership in the Globe Unity Orchestra for example—but special mention must be made of Rempis, Beelzebub-ian in his ability to shoot flames on all three of his saxophones.

The Engines certainly requires the oil that is attentive listening. The songs—and again this is live or recorded—are not blowing vehicles though long solo portions are set aside; instead they are well- constructed compositions with subplots and character development. And since a relatively small portion of the concert was given over to album material, the long-term health of this collective seems assured, another exciting wind blowing from out west.

Track Listing: Riser; Jet Lag; Careful; Mish Mumkin; Rewind; Backend Cover; Four Broken Plates; Mash Tun.

Personnel: Jeb Bishop: trombone; Dave Rempis: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone; Nate McBride: bass; Tim Daisy: drums.

Title: The Engines | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Okka Disk

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Other Violets

Other Violets

Not Two Records
2013

buy
The Engines

The Engines

Okka Disk
2008

buy
The Engines

The Engines

Okka Disk
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
by Doug Collette
Published: December 13, 2018
Read An Ayler Xmas Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
An Ayler Xmas Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2018
Read The Forest from Above CD/LP/Track Review
The Forest from Above
by John Eyles
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Imaginary Band CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Band
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 13, 2018
Read Night CD/LP/Track Review
Night
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 13, 2018
Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read "Sorrows & Triumphs" CD/LP/Track Review Sorrows & Triumphs
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: August 14, 2018
Read "Rummage Out" CD/LP/Track Review Rummage Out
by John Sharpe
Published: November 10, 2018
Read "Perfectly Unhappy" CD/LP/Track Review Perfectly Unhappy
by John Eyles
Published: June 4, 2018
Read "KPF" CD/LP/Track Review KPF
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2018
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2018
Read "Get Somethin'" CD/LP/Track Review Get Somethin'
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 17, 2018