Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Rempis Percussion Quartet - Montreal Parade [482 Music]

The Rempis Percussion Quartet
Dave Rempis - alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten - double bass
Tim Daisy - drums
Frank Rosaly - drums

482 Music 2011

I love bands with some sort of expanded rhythm section (two bass players or, like in this case, two drummers) - it makes the music so rhythmically dense and textured. Percussion Quartet led by Dave Rempis is a good example of that as it proved clearly enough on their previous recordings. Obviously the sound of the group is in large part based on the interaction between the two drummers, the second point of departure is that, even as a long time working group, this band does only play improvised music, no compositions whatsoever. After a long and fruitfull run Dave Rempis decided to shake the things up a little bit and changed the lineup of the band with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten taking on the bass spot (after Anton Hatwitch).

The cd contains two long improvisation (20 and 40 minutes) that are nicely structured, that evolve around the rhythm center - Tim and Frank developed a clear chemistry and a way of complementing each other over the ways (there are also long passages where sax drops off completely and the two drummers, with a little help from Ingebrigt, can just go for it, as they do without hesitation). The feeling of a natural development, the flow of the music is something to treasure.
Dave Rempis is his usual dynamic and powefull force, although the group is not afraid to lower the tone and search some more peacefull spaces every now and then (like a gentle coda to the firtst track - "This is not a tango" or the dark and gloomy passage in the second track that starts with inner harmonics of bass solo, with abstract drumming sound palette and circular and angular whispers on the saxophone being slowly added to the mix - between 12th and 22th minutes of the second improvisation). Rempis flies up and down with his saxes, drums provide dense textures while the bass anchors this whole party deep in the groove trans (just listen how they swing at the start of the second track - "If You were a waffle and I were a bee"  - and try not to move your feet).

It's not about playing favouritisms and weghing Ingebrigt versus Anton. After all the music has not changed that much since the previous releases - it's still dynamic and quite melodic free jazz (hugely indebted to the tradition of the genre), freely improvised and full of energetic drive, maybe bit rawer then the in the past. But as even an improvising ensemble can hit a wall routine eventually the change of the lineup seems like a correct decision and the group sound fresh and energized, focused while exploring joyfully new possibilites. It might be that I just like this group but this is a great release and, hopefully, a great beginning of the new chapter in this group's history.A beautiful ride.

a fragment from the concert played just 4 days prior to the recording session in the studio (which results are to be found on this cd), wait till it starts swinging (2 minutes into the video).

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