THE EARLY BIRD GETS
It’s like a blade – not so much a scalpel and as scythe, hewing its way straight into your central nervous system. I first heard it soon after a general anaesthetic, and I swear hospitals could use Dave Rempis’s alto sound to clear their recovery rooms faster. At one point on the opening Crypto Vo Lans it becomes a growling squall, and that’s before we reach his tenor and baritone, which could leave cyclonic carnage in their wake. Think of the most visceral saxophonists you’ve heard – Albert Ayler, Mark Simmonds, Evan Parker, et al – and add Rempis to the list immediately.
This trio album with Brandon Lopez (bass) and Ryan Packard (drums, electronics) is jazz that can bubble and boil, and then, on Neo Aves, spook the socks off you. Another Rempis album released simultaneously, Apsis, is just as good. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that these guys are Chicago-based, because you hear a lineage from Art Ensemble of Chicago saxophonists Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell: this is that special. Perhaps it’s some effect of the wind blasting off Lake Michigan, or perhaps it reflects the historical community spirit among the players there, as opposed to New York’s more combative environment.