Rempis Percussion Quartet, DJ Jeff Parker | Hideout | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Rempis Percussion Quartet, DJ Jeff Parker Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., April 13, 10 p.m. 2011

The name saxophonist Dave Rempis chose for this ferocious ensemble alludes to its two drummers—Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly, both pillars of Chicago's diverse improvised-music scene. But ever since powerhouse Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten (Atomic, the Thing) replaced Anton Hatwich in early 2009, it might as well be referring to him too. The Rempis Percussion Quartet's fifth and latest album, Montreal Parade (482 Music), is its first with Haaker Flaten, and when Rempis drops out of "This Is Not a Tango," the bassist's furious thwacks and string snaps make it sound a bit like a third drummer has joined the fray. In his liner notes Rempis writes that he made the lineup change to "inject some fresh energy and ideas" (he joined Haaker Flaten's now-defunct quintet in 2006, so they know each other's playing), and though this hasn't affected the group's basic MO, its attack is certainly different. Daisy and Rosaly keep time despite plenty of sideways, coloristic excursions, but the way they interact to subtly shape the music's grooves often creates more of a steady simmer than a driving pulse—the bassist is the real motor of the group. Rempis benefits hugely from the drummers' constant motion and variation, as they roll from high-velocity swing to abstract funk to stuttering shuffles to hydroplaning cymbal scrapes without a hiccup—they give him the freedom to unfurl his rangy lines in any direction he can imagine. He delivers a tirelessly energetic performance on the 42-minute "If You Were a Waffle and I Were a Bee," running the gamut from astringent, buoyant postbop to howling free jazz. Rempis is already a respected and valuable figure in Chicago jazz, but Montreal Parade makes a case that he's still underrated. Jeff Parker spins; the Rempis Percussion Quartet also plays Sun 4/17 at 10 PM at the Hungry Brain. —Peter Margasak

Price: $8

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