Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Rempis Percussion Quartet - Cochonnerie (Aerophonic, 2017)

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. This album was recorded in October of 2015 in Chicago and opens with the track "Straggler" which is a massive half hour plus performance with bright saxophone and thick bass supported by rattling percussion. They are eager to bust out and soar, but allow the music to develop organically, with raw and powerful saxophone employing a gritty and immediate tone that has a great potency to it. The two drummers produce an epic racket, seemingly at the brink of chaos, but always keeping the rhythm at hand. Haker-Flaten's bass works as a lubricant between the saxophone and drums, allowing the group to rev up to fearsome heights. This creates angular passages of free improvisation with towering and imposing saxophone leading the tumult at full volume. Group interplay is the focus of the track, and the musicians interlock with one and other very well, allowing the dynamics of the peace to dictate the volume and speed and adjusting accordingly. The performance moves through several sections, alternating quieter passages of bass and slight percussion to freely improvised cells that gradually transform into gales of torrential free jazz, as the horns buzz and soar and the rhythm section is complex and abstract while also earthy and grooving. There is a more spacious feeling to "Green and Black" with light saxophone echoing through space, and spare percussion keeping pace. There is taut bass on this track, allowing some groundedness while the music develops. The music is low in tone and ominous, like thunder rolling across the landscape. "Enzymes" picks up the pace with tart saxophone against rumbling drums, pushing forward relentlessly. Tight, intense sounds begin to flow, sounding like a massive wave of potential energy has been released in a powerful surge of collective improvisation. There is some very immersive playing, full of energy, enthusiasm, and determination. Space opens for a quieter but no less intricate section of bass and percussion, before Rempis rejoins the band in a thrilling sprint to the finish. This is vital, bracing music that is pushing the boundaries of modern jazz. It is full of energy and enthusiasm, and highly recommended. Cochonnerie - bandcamp.com.

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