Reviews that mention Dave Rempis

June 15, 20127


Aerophonic 013



Clean Feed CF 378 CD

Fred Lonberg-Holm/Adam Golebiewski


Bocian Records No #

By Ken Waxman

Perhaps one day some canny jazz entrepreneur will come up with a Where’s Waldo game featuring Fred Lonberg-Holm. Over the past quarter century, the Gary-based cellist is as likely to appear on a disc recorded in Denmark as Chicago and as frequently in the company of Europeans as Americans. Like an ever-adaptable character actor, Lonberg-Holm’s sophisticated use of cello, electronics and recently, guitar, brings exuberant novel concepts to each situation. MORE

January 8, 2020


Aerophonic Records/Astral Spirits AR020

Daniel Carter/Brad Farberman/Billy Martin

Just Don’t Die

Ropeadope No #

Similarly constituted trios from the New York and the Midwest couldn’t be more different than a Chicago Bar-B-Q joint and a Manhattan vegan restaurant. Hiljaisuus, featuring Windy City saxophonist Dave Rempis, Bloomington-percussionist Tyler Damon and Asheville guitarist Tashi Dorji consists of two blistering live tracks that could power any oven needed for pork rib cooking. Meanwhile Just Don’t Die is more like a family-style fusion restaurant. Multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, drummer Billy Martin and guitarist Brad Farberman offer up 10 entrees which range from those which sizzle with popping near funk, to some that are so low calorie that there’s a danger of ennui. MORE

July 9, 2019


Aerophonic AR-018


Farm Fresh

Gotta Let it Out GLIO 39 CD

Dealing with the rhythmic adjustments caused when substituting an electric for a stand-up bass in an improvised setting is a specialized art, but one with which younger players face with comparative ease. Consider for instance the programs of these trios named for the band members, which coincidentally match two Americans and two Europeans.

More established of the two is Rempis/Stadhouders/Rosaly, which first convened about a decade ago when Chicago-based saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly added Dutch guitarist/electric bassist Jasper Stadhouders to their band. The string player also plays in Cactus Truck, while the Americans are involved in panoply of other groups. Far newer is the Faust/Dahl/Walter, which links Copenhagen-based Estonian alto saxophonist Maria Faust with Brooklyn-based electric bassist Tom Dahl and drummer Weasel Walter. While the saxophonist has been prominent with large and small Improv-Jazz groups, the others who together have played in Lydia Lunch’s Retrovirus, are involved in a variety of Jazz, and Punk bands. MORE

March 3, 2019


Throw Tomatoes
Astral Spirits MF161/AS 060

Matt Piet & His Disorganization

Rummage Out

Clean Feed CF 465 CD

Expressive in two different, but closely related situations is pianist Matt Piet, another of the cadre of distinctive improvisers emanating from Chicago. Also featured are other locals, who in 2019 can be termed both young and veteran. Tim Daisy, known for his work with Ken Vandermark among many others, holds down the drum spot on both discs. Saxophonist Dave Rempis, whose associates include Vandermark and Arveeayl Ra, is featured on Throw Tomatoes, while Nick Mazzarella, who has played with the likes of Rob Mazurek is on Rummage Out, as is cornetist Josh Berman, whose unique stylistic conception unites pre-modern and Free Jazz elements. With each CD consisting of two tracks each, completely improvised live at Chicago clubs, the main point of demarcation is combo size. In terms of musical consistency, Rummage Out was actually recorded in the time period in-between the sessions which make up Throw Tomatoes. MORE

October 1, 2018

Tim Daisy's Fulcrum Ensemble

Relay Recordings RR021

He surely didn’t conceive of it that way, but the newest release by Chicago percussionist Tim Daisy's Fulcrum Ensemble can be heard as a mini history of Jazz. That’s because the versatile drummer, marimba player – and in this case – turntablist has written three compositions which are played by his multi-functional associates with subtle references to other musical narratives.

Besides Daisy, who is often as busy playing overseas as on this continent, the ensemble’s ranks are filled by locals Josh Berman on cornet, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello, clarinetist James Falzone and Dave Rempis playing alto and baritone saxophones. Imported from Manhattan is trombonist Steve Swell. MORE

September 6, 2018


Empty Castles
Aerophonic AR-016

By Ken Waxman

Taking full advantage of the acoustics inside Vallejo, California’s Bunker A-168 are members of the Spectral trio whose polyphonic improvisations develop additional sonic possibilities by applying the spatial qualities of this long-deserted 12,000 foot Second World War concrete munitions depository. Already committed to the extended techniques and dissonant currents of free music, the players – Burlington, Ont.-born, California-based trumpeter Darren Johnston, fellow Bay area resident sopranino and tenor saxophonist Larry Ochs and Chicago alto and baritone saxophonist Dave Rempis – create nine sequences here in Action Painting-like dribs and drabs, with the cavernous setting further amplifying their connected and challenged timbres. MORE

March 8, 2018

Dave Rempis

Aerophonic 015

Anthony Braxton

Solo (Victoriaville 2017)

Victo cd 130

Martin Küchen

Lieber Heiland, laß uns sterben

SOFA Music 60

Liudas Mockŭnas


NoBusiness NBLP 110

Jonah Parzen-Johnson

I Try To Remember Where I Come From

Clean Feed CF 430 CD

Something In The Air: One is the Loneliest Number – Or is it?

by Ken Waxman

Although there were isolated experiments dating back to the 1940s, the watershed recording of saxophone solos was Anthony Braxton’s double LP For Alto in 1970. Comparably innovative sets by Evan Parker and Steve Lacy followed soon afterwards. Since then many exploratory reedists have added their own challenging chapters to the solo saxophone literature. MORE

January 6, 2018

The Rempis Percussion Quartet

Aerophonic 014

Larry Ochs Sax and Drumming Core

Wild Red Yellow

RogueArt ROG-0075

Two post-modern saxophonists playing three of their own extended compositions backed up by a drum team plus. That’s the simple description of these discs showcasing Bay area tenor and sopranino saxophonist Larry Ochs’ six-member Sax and Drumming Core and Chicago-based alto, tenor and baritone saxophonist Dave Rempis’ four-piece Percussion Quartet. Yet like juxtaposing Chicago and Berkley because they’re both cities, there are more differences than similarities between the two exciting discs. MORE

December 6, 2017

Tim Daisy’s Celebration Sextet

The Halfway There Suite
Relay Recordings 016

Eric Revis

Sing Me Some Cry

Clean Feed CF 428 CD

Roberto Ottaviano Quarktet


Dodicilune Dischi Ed 354

Marcelo dos Reis/Eve Risser


JACC Records 034

Amok Amor

We Know Not What We Do

Intakt CD 279

Something In The Air: Seven Musical Voices for the Future

By Ken Waxman

The year just ending marked one important milestone in musical history. The first so-called jazz record was issued in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB). Obviously that musical designation, which in its century of existence has gone through as many permutations and retrenchments as so-called classical music has in many centuries, is far different then the ODJB’s primitive efforts. But jazz/improvised music continues to evolve, buttressed by new voices. Here is a group of youngish improvisers who will likely still be contributing to the shape of jazz during its 125tn anniversary – and probably for years afterwards. MORE

April 6, 2017

Label Spotlight

Aerophonic Records
By Ken Waxman

Saxophonist Dave Rempis doesn’t disagree when it’s suggested his Chicago-based Aerophonic imprint can be characterized as a “vanity project”. But there’s an important difference. “Sure, it definitely is,” agree the alto, tenor and baritone saxophonist, who is the label’s sole owner. “I’ve put out 17 releases since mid-2013, all of which I feel proud. But we’re at a point where no one else is going to do that, particularly with that type of quantity. So if I want to get my work out, it’s on me to do it. If that makes it a vanity label, then so be it.” The main difference is that Aerophonic “is self-sustaining. If it was really a vanity label I’d probably be pouring more and more money into it.” MORE

December 16, 2016


Aerophonic AR -011

Henrik Pultz Melbye


No Label No #

Saxophone, double bass and drums has become as common a configuration in the Free (ish) Jazz realm as piano-double bass and guitar are in mainstream Jazz circles. With literally thousands of session created that way, musicians have to struggle to be original. Like automakers who annually tinker with the features of their cars without changing too radically both these groups are made up of increment lists

After participating in many ensembles with his peers, established saxophonist Dave Rempis recently organized Gunwale as his new working group with two fellow Chicagoans of slightly later vintage: Dutch native and bassist Albert Wildeman and percussion Ryan Packard, whose affiliations are mostly with the city’s notated community. Polynya, defined as a stretch of open water surrounded by ice, features three compositions which extend the Free Jazz concept. Packard’s juddering electronics become a major part of the interface made livelier as the reedist moves among alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. MORE

October 21, 2016

Rempis/Abrams/Ra + Baker

Aerophonic AR-012

An honest representation of club work in Chicago, this two-CD set is analogous to viewing the dailies in a film shoot. Multi-reedist Dave Rempis’ long-running trio with bassist Joshua Abrams, who is familiar with both Jazz and ethic sounds, plus veteran Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) percussionist Avreeayl Ra, stretches out during one long improvisation on disc one, while eccentric keyboardist Jim Baker, who has worked with everyone from Ken Vandermark to Michael Zerang joins the trio on disc two. MORE

January 6, 2016

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1: 7 Compositions for Duet
Relay Recordings 009

Vox Arcana

Caro’s Song

Relay Recordings 010

Steel Bridge Trio

Different Clocks

Relay Recordings 011

By Ken Waxman

Quietly – well as quiet as a drummer can be – and consistently, Chicago-based percussionist Tim Daisy has over the past decade established himself as one of jazz’s go-to players. Besides ongoing partnerships with the likes of reedists Dave Rempis mostly in a duo and Ken Vandermark in small and large ensembles, Daisy’s discs showcase his own bands playing his compositions which range from the raucous to the refined. Like a screenwriter equally proficient at penning action thrillers and character-driven dramas, the drummer proficiently showcases particular genres on each of these releases. MORE

October 21, 2015


Worse for the Wear
Aerophonic Records AR008



Veto-exchange 011

Advanced improvisations with the identical number of tracks, recorded in Chicago by two youngish reed/string/percussion trios both one-third European and two-thirds Yank, confirms the continued vitality of the Windy City’s Jazz scene. Yet despite being taped almost exactly one month apart and sharing the same cellist, the CDs likewise affirm the futility of trying to paint all Free Music sessions with the same brush – the resulting sound pictures are usually much different. MORE

August 16, 2015

Tim Daisy

October Music Vol. 1
Relay Recordings 009

Aural scrap book, calling card and historical document wrapped together, this CD highlights the improvisational and compositional strategies drummer Tim Daisy has evolved during his years as part of Chicago’s burgeoning improvisational scene. Each of the lucky seven duets here is with a different associate – reedists Rempis (baritone saxophone), James Falzone (clarinet) and Katherine Young (bassoon); cornetist Josh Berman, violist Jen Clare Paulson plus Jason Adasiewicz on vibraphone and drummer Marc Riordan playing piano – and follows a unique pattern. MORE

March 18, 2015

Pandelis Karayorgis Quintet

Driff Records CD 1404

The Urge Trio

Live in Toledo

Veto-records/exchange 010

By Ken Waxman

Fayetteville, Arkansas’ gift to improvised music, saxophonist/clarinetist Keefe Jackson is gradually expanding his base from his new hometown of Chicago, where he leads several ensembles Both Live in Toledo and Afterimage offer unique displays of his talent. Skewed chamber-jazz, the first calculates how many varied tones can be sourced from the dual tenor saxophones and bass clarinets of Jackson and Swiss reedist Christoph Erb, with Tomeka Reid’s cello the single chordal back-up. Also recorded live, but a more formal date, Afterimage features four Windy City players – reedists Jackson and Dave Rempis, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Frank Rosaly – playing the compositions and arrangements of Boston pianist Pandelis Karayorgis. MORE

November 21, 2014


Aerophonic Records 004

When it comes to expressing pure improv, age is just a number. How else to explain the heartbeat-close interaction of this CD featuring two Chicago improvisers in mid-career and one veteran Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) member?

Although saxophonist Dave Rempis and string player Joshua Abrams are best-known for their affiliations with bands such as those led by Ken Vandermark and Nicole Mitchell, both have an interest in sounds that go beyond those of conventional Jazz. On this CD for instance Abrams plays the guimbri or round-necked Sahara lute and small harp as well as his usual double bass. Meantime AACMer Ra, who has played with everyone from Fred Anderson to Ernest Dawkins, brings his collection of ethnic percussion to the program. MORE

November 11, 2014

Festival Report

Sibiu Jazz and More
By Ken Waxman

Situated in the dead center of Romania, Sibiu is a fortified medieval city of winding streets, whose hub is the connected Grand (Piața Mare) and Lesser (Piața Mica) squares, where every building appears to be of historical importance. Populated by citizens of German, Transylvanian and Romanian background, it seems appropriate that the Jazz and More (JAM) Festival highlighted high-quality international improvisers annually.

Chicago drummer Tim Daisy was one player whose performance and demeanor reflected Sibiu’s cooperative history during JAM’s 10th edition October 3 to 5. Not only did he turn in a spectacular display of free jazz interaction with long-time partner tenor and alto saxophonist Dave Rempis at JAM’s main venue, the soft-seated Teatrul Gong, but later that same night played a sympathetic duet set with Bucharest-based pianist Mircea Tiberian at the basement Bohemian Flow club in Piața Mica, then participated in a jam session that went on to 5 a.m. With Rempis, an animated Daisy bounced up, down as he clanked and clicked every variety of cymbals, blocks, bells, chains and other paraphernalia. In contrast the reedist stood stock still, reeling out stuttering, slurring or slashing phrases in many registers and intensities which angled perfectly into the drummer’s narratives Adding rhythmic blues riffs and Africanized inflections to tonal deconstruction, the duo ensured that each improvisation flowed logically from thematic roots and swung hard in its own fashion. Feeling his way with Tiberian, who craftily extracted multi-hued rhythm plus Monk-like single-note emphasis from an electric piano, Daisy was initially deferential. Quickly through drum-top dusting gave way to resonating buzzes and echoing strokes. By the time Tiberian was mixing staccato smears with dramatic theme extensions, the drummer uncorked enough rocking clatter to echo off the club’s stained brick walls. MORE

May 4, 2014


Boss of the Plains
Aerophonic AR-002


Yuria’s Dream

Veto-records/exchange 009

Chamber music with a difference, these two improvising trios use their unusual instrumentation to its best advantage, by fixing on the contrasting textures that result when vibraphone resonation superlatively blends with reed expansion. What’s more the entire percussion function is left to the bassist. Tellingly, although recorded more than three years apart, both share a similar Chicago orientation, MORE

March 3, 2014

Keefe Jackson's Likely So

A Round Goal
Delmark DE 5009


Looking for the Next One.

Cuneiform RUNE 360/361

Robert Marcel Lepage

Le lait maternel.

Ambiances Magnétiques AM 212

Double Trio de Clarinettes

Itinéraire Bis

Between the Lines BTLCHR 71231

Something In The Air: Reed Blends.

By Ken Waxman.

Reed sections have been part of jazz’s performing vernacular since its earliest days. But only with the freedom that arose with modern improvised music in the 1960s were the woodwinds able to stand on their own. In the right hands, with the right ideas, a group consisting only of saxophones and/or clarinets can produce satisfying sounds that don’t need the intervention of a rhythm section or even brass for additional colors. All of the fine discs here demonstrate that. MORE

February 11, 2014

Artist Feature

Dave Rempis
By Ken Waxman

For proof that a committed improviser can build an impressive career outside of NYC, look no further than Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis. The Massachusetts native, who relocated to the Windy City in ’93, is kept busy touring with his own bands as well as in a variety of other groups. This month he’ll play two rare gigs in the Apple, as part of a completely new configuration with trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Chris Corsano.

Rempis would often bump into Wooley at European festivals and Chicago gigs, so eventually they decided to combine forces. The trumpeter suggested the other players and the four will record following the dates. The resulting CD may be a joint release on Wooley’s imprint plus Rempis’ six-month-old Aerophonic label. MORE

January 3, 2014

The Rempis Percussion Quartet

Aerophonic AR-001



Leo Records CD LR 683

Although the concept of having two drummers as part of an improvising ensemble isn’t a new one, it must be done judiciously so the percussion doesn’t overwhelm the other players. The situation is especially problematic when dealing with as few as four musicians, but both sessions here are organized so that this atypical make-up doesn’t impede creativity.

At the same time each session differ from the other due to the choice of individual chordal instrument. Phalanx, recorded in Antwerp and Milwaukee is held together during four extensive blow-outs by the powerful bass work of Norwegian-turned Texan Ingebrigt Håker Flaten. Together in different configurations since 2004, the percussion part of The Rempis Percussion Quartet is made up of Frank Rosaly and Tim Daisy, both of whom are in-demand on the expanding Chicago improv scene. Dave Rempis, who plays alto, tenor and baritone saxophone on the disc, is best known for his work in the Vandermark5. MORE

July 6, 2012

Festival Report:

Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon
By Ken Waxman

London saxophonist John Butcher and Chicago percussionist Tim Daisy were the MVPs during the Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon at the end of April. To stretch the metaphor further, Butcher was doubly valuable, since as a pinch hitter he replaced Una Casa/Observatorio’s third member when that saxophonist was unable to perform with Buenos Aires-based trumpeter Leonel Kaplan and Viennese computer manipulator Christof Kurzmann. If Butcher’s playing was sympathetically creative with that trio, his improvising was equally spectacular with The Apophonics, a new group, otherwise consisting of British bassist John Edwards and Bay-area percussionist Gino Robair. Meanwhile the cap-sporting Daisy subtly pacing Wrack, the chamber-styled string-and-horn quintet; as well as added rhythmic heft to saxophonist Dave Rempis’ Percussion 4Tet, whose raucous free jazz closed the festival to enthusiastic audience cheers. MORE

June 1, 2010


482 Music 482-1064

The Frame Quartet

35 MM

Okka Disk OD 12078

Matthew Shipp

Nu Bop Live

Rai Trade RTPJ 0015

Connie Crothers-Michel Bisio

Sessions at 475 Kent

Mutable 17537-2

Extended Play: Combos: Ad Hoc and Long Constituted in Toronto

By Ken Waxman

Long-established jazz groups have become as common as pop hits based on Mozart melodies topping the charts – they sometimes exist. But with accomplished improvisers tempted by side projects, bands often reconstitute and sidemen regularly have their own gigs. In most cases, though, this doesn’t affect the music’s quality. MORE

August 11, 2008

Keefe Jackson's Project Project

Just Like This
Delmark DE 580

Making the most of the varied textures available from a 12-piece ensemble, reedist Keefe Jackson’s straight-ahead Project Project adumbrates jazz’s future, while alluding to its past. Built up from the four-square walking of bassist Anton Hatwich, and the rolls and flams of drummer Frank Rosaly, the piano-less group, consisting of yet another wave of new Chicago players, is somewhat reminiscent of Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band.

But with Marc Unternährer’s tuba prominent among the brass, plus with clarinets’ tremolo trills and coloratura glissandi heard as often as saxophone slurs and honks, Jackson’s extended compositions include an overlay of post-modern impressionism. Perhaps alluding to the band’s double-barreled name, a common trope is to twin two instruments – such as the trombones of Jeb Bishop and Nick Broste – in contrapuntal theme elaboration, then followed a transitional growl from Dave Rempis’ baritone saxophone, fluidly showcase variations from the others. MORE

November 10, 2003


Twenty Minute Cliff
Okka Disk OD12045

Rapid Croche
482 Music 1016

Every three decades or so Chicago improvisers become the focus of the music world -- or perhaps the rest of the planet merely catches up with what’s been happening in the Windy City all along.

This first took place in the late 1920s when Young Lions such as Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines revolutionized jazz music with a solo-oriented approach. Then in the mid-1960s, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) appeared with explorers like Roscoe Mitchell and Muhal Richard Abrams who showed that Free Music could be complex and meticulous as well as blues-based and emotional. Fast forward to the 21st century, and everyone from Austrian laptopers to German ecstatic soloists appears to be working with a new wave of Chicago-based players. MORE

March 17, 2003


Two Days in December
Wobbly Rail 012

THE VANDERMARK 5 Free Jazz Classics Vols. 1 & 2
Atavistic ALP1372CD

Okka Disk 12050

Ken Vandermark seems to put out more discs in a year than some earlier jazzmen did in a career. But if he keeps turning out fine sessions like this single CD (ATLAS) and two double CDs, then there's little reason to complain.

Like other improvising musicians before him, the multi-reedman realizes that the best way to keep things fresh is to consistently change playing situations. On these five discs the circumstances range from a series of duos with four different Swedish improvisers (TWO DAYS); 13 recreations of 1960s-1970s advanced jazz standards with his regular quintet (FREE JAZZ); and a speedy romp through four original compositions as part of a 12-piece mixed American/European band (ATLAS). MORE