Dave Rempis teams up with Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon in Kuzu, a new improvising trio | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Dave Rempis teams up with Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon in Kuzu, a new improvising trio



Dave Rempis is an indefatigable concert organizer and bandleader. While his activities are essential to Chicago’s jazz and improvised music scene, they aren’t entirely altruistic; they create multiple opportunities for him to play his alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones. Since he formed Triage with drummer Tim Daisy and bassist Gordon Lewis (later replaced by Jason Ajemian) 21 years ago, Rempis has thrived in improvising trios with collaborators who project musical identities as distinct and uncompromising as his own. His latest such project is Kuzu, with electric guitarist Tashi Dorji, who operates out of Asheville, North Carolina, and drummer Tyler Damon, a recent transplant to Chicago from Bloomington, Indiana. Damon and Dorji, who’ve been playing together since 2015, are improvisers who bonded over common formative experiences in punk subcultures (hardcore for Dorji, skateboarding for Damon) and a shared desire to make music that uses loudness, spontaneity, and untethered chops to project intensity but not aggression. As a duo their music is in constant flux, shifting from nuanced rhythmic explorations to monolithic walls of sound. On Kuzu’s debut LP, Hiljaisuus (Astral Spirits), which was recorded a year ago at Elastic Arts, Rempis plunges right into the duo’s evolving dynamic. His low baritone moans add gravity to the avalanche flow on “Gash,” and his peppery alto amplifies the lurching extremes in “Fontanelle 2.” Tonight the trio will return to the scene of the recording to celebrate its release.   v

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