The reed skills of DaveRempis are fast approaching the stuff of legend – and while he's a hell of a collaborator, really great in many settings, he sounds maybe even more amazing here on his own – in a set of solo performances on alto, tenor, and baritone sax! The tracks were recorded over a few different live dates in early 2017, but they've got a really unified feel in Dave's maturing understanding of his horns – able to be completely bracing at one moment, then shift into subtle textures that respect the space of freedom by creating new tonal territory. The moods and moments can differ greatly, and create a strong sense of surprise throughout – on titles that include readings of "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing" and "Serene" – plus the originals "Horse Court", "Linger Longer", "If You Get Lost In Santa Paula", and "Loose Snus". CD
Drummer Tim Daisy and saxophonist DaveRempis have been recording together for over a decade – but this time around, they do a great job of balancing out their own duo work with help from a variety of other Chicago improvising musicians! The set features 2CDs – the first of which is just Daisy and Rempis – with Dave on alto, tenor, and baritone – on three long duo improvisations with Tim's drums, all with a quality level that shows just how much these guys have grown together over the years – and why well-matched improvisers can make such amazing sounds together! CD2 features the duo working in various trio formations – allowing just the right of space for participation from a lineup that includes Jason Adasiewicz on vibes, Jim Baker on piano and electronics, Steve Swell on trombone, Katie Young on bassoon and electronics, Fred Lonbern-Holm on cello, and Aaron Zarzutzki on electronics. Titles include "Dvadeset", "Zwanzig", "Eikosi", "DRY", "ADR", "BDR I", and "DLHR 2". CD
Two fantastic improvisations from the Chicago scene – both featuring the well-known talents of DaveRempis on saxes and Tim Daisy on drums – plus the rising genius of Matt Piet on piano! Piet's a name we've only begun to pay attention to – but his bold sense of freedom here really seems to drive the proceedings on even more strongly than we might have guessed – with an urgency that really sets Rempis on fire, who then seems to do the same to the trio – while Daisy balanced beautifully between more sensitive percussion and a full-on attack of the drum kit. Titles include "To Play Is The Thing" and "The Thousand Natural Shocks". CD
Spectral (DaveRempis/Darren Johnston/Larry Ochs) —
Empty Castles ... CD Aerophonic, 2018. New Copy ...
A beautiful triangulation of horns from the Spectral Trio – working here on their second album, with a mighty nice lineup that features Larry Ochs on tenor and sopranino, DaveRempis on alto and baritone, and Darren Johnston on trumpet! The sound here feels more focused on textures than before – as the players balance their expressions together to create these moody backdrops, which are then penetrated by individual moments of expression – often with a stark sound of delight that can be very powerful. Titles include "Brooklyn Took It", "Splash Zone", "Dirt Angels", "This Is Not Vermont", "Gravity Corridor", and "Bunker". CD
The quartet's not all percussion – just drummers Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly, but both turning out work on the kit that could rival an army of percussionists – working alongside sublime bass plotting from Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, and a range of sharp-edged sounds from leader DaveRempis – who blows alto, tenor, and baritone equally well! The album's far more than the usual improv outing – possibly because the drums do hold onto a core of the sound – while still allowing Rempis those fantastically-shaped lines that we've come to admire more and more over the years, played with increasing sonic sensitivity that almost puts him in the territory of Ken Vandermark and Mats Gustafsson. Flaten's always a welcome talent – and his contributions here are more subtle than the drums, but crucial to the soul of the record – which contains three long tracks, titled "Straggler", "Green & Black", and "Enzymes". CD
SLAG ... CD Aerophonic, 2017. New Copy ...
Not the kind of album you'd expect from a junk-like term of "slag" – as the trio here are fantastically sharp, and play with a sense of urgency that maybe makes the whole thing one of the boldest statements from any of the three musicians in years! DaveRempis is brilliant on both alto and tenor – as powerful as before, but also maybe finding even more soul in his horn as the years go by, and setting a tone that has Fred Lonberg-Holm working his cello with equal range too! Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love is nicely balanced – sometimes working with just the right sort of subtle energy to allow Rempis to really take the lead, other times hitting that full-on mode that you might know from earlier records – and the album features three long tracks – "Fauchard", "Guisarme", and "Glaive". CD