Friday, April 8, 2011

Dave Rempis & Frank Rosaly Duo at Alchemia (06.04)

The sax-drums duo could easily be my favourite line-up in free jazz territory. The recording by Coltrane & Ali was the first free-jazz I listened to and fell in love with. And some excellent releases coming from recent years (Paal Nilssen-Love with Vandermark or Brotzmann or McPhee, Vandermark with Tim Daisy ...) keep my appreciation for this set-up well and alive. It's rhythm & melody, plain and simply. Basic. But it's also punch & scream (I stole this one from the liner notes to "Born Broke" by Brotzmann & Uuskyla) - a primal expression, the first music that was created. With Dave Rempis (an old friend of Alchemia who played in Krakow countless times) and Frank Rosaly (been here before with Rempis Percussion Quartet) you get all of that.

Dave is a beast on stage. He would play a phrase, repeat a couple of times, until it verged on obsession, then slowly changed it, introduced new elements, new notes, new rhythm patterns. Mutation? Evolution? And then the idea, completely deconstructed or expanded, exploded. And it's time to look for a new one. His playing wa dynamic, the tone full and energetic.
Frank likes to play loud and fast, there's rock energy to the way he plays, and even while creating a cloud of sounds all over the place, he maintains the pulse in an incredible way. He listens closely and pushes the music forward, in constant journey, always looking for the new. The instant reactions between the two players showed a deep understanding and long partnership as they've been playing together (in duo and other settings) for a long time now.
That was the first set and the second one was even better. The musicians were warmed up, so was the audience. Dave started with a cookin' solo going up and down the saxophone's scale (his agility on the instrument is impressive), also had a beautiful short sax-only spot, with soft sounds, delicate chord structures (I know it's a melodic not harmonic instrument, but there was a chord structure in what he was doing, putting the base line with just a hit on the keys, adding notes that were more air than notes actually). Second set also gave more solo space to Frank, who would rock it hard or play gentle and abstract, impressive in both cases.

It was definitely highly satisfying to attend this concert. You may have listened to a lot of sax-drums duos, you may have seen Dave Rempis and Frank Rosaly on stage before, whatever the case is it doesn't make their playing together any less impressive and the music they do any less passionate and fresh. 

The duo is still on the tour so check if you can still get to see them.
More photos from the concert as provided by Krzysztof Penarski to be found here.

Dave Rempis - alto sax, tenor sax
Frank Rosaly - drums

Alchemia. Krakow. 06.04.2011

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