Monday, June 08, 2015

The Rempis Percussion Quartet - Cash and Carry (Aeroponic, 2015)

The Rempis Percussion Quartet is a very exciting modern jazz group consisting of Dave Rempis on alto, baritone and tenor saxophones, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten on bass and Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly on drums and percussion. They play wide open free jazz with snippets of melody and every changing percussive pulse. This isn't just balls to the wall free jazz though, the music is thoughtfully played and the concept of interaction between all of the musicians is key to the success of the music, particularly here in a spontaneous setting as the music was recorded August 31st, 2014 at the Hungry Brain Club, in Chicago. The first of the two very lengthy improvisations is “Water Foul Run Amok” which has a white hot free improvisation opening that is absolutely thrilling. The drums interweave in complex patterns from influences as disparate as African music, sixties fire music and European free improvisation and Haker-Flaten pushes and pulls while Rempis creates torrents of music through his horns. The band makes spontaneous music in real time but is focused on a group sensibility and structure and deep rhythm is important to the music throughout. Rempis gets unaccompanied spots for saxophone expression at times, and he channels the significant emotional energy of the evening directly into two lengthy improvisations of incandescent music. The group once again proves itself to be one of the most exciting bands on the modern jazz scene. On this document of the night’s festivities, you can hear the them dive in head first, working over every facet of the simple melodies and grooves that form the underlying basis of their extended improvisations, tearing them apart, and reconstructing them in a multitude of new ways. They flip the tables on the concluding track “Better Than Butter” with Rempis using a lush baritone saxophone tone, evoking a late night bluesy feeling, and the percussionists stay right with him, switching to subtle brushes. Soon he moves back to a raw scouring saxophone tone, tremendously exciting along with great slashing drums and powerful bass. The format of loud spare loud works very well and builds tension through the concert. Things develop slowly once again toward the end of the concert with bass and complex percussive rhythms, then Rempis’s saxophone enters, driving the open feel faster, with the deep rhythm coursing like a powerful river, before they finally, they go for broke muscular and nearly frightening in their power up faster and stronger, sprinting for the finish. Cash and Carry - Aeroponic Records

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