Rempis Percussion Quartet | Elastic | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Rempis Percussion Quartet All Ages Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Mon., Oct. 19, 9 p.m. and Tue., Oct. 20, 9 p.m. 2015

On the bracing new Cash and Carry (Aerophonic), the Rempis Percussion Quartet lays its intentions bare right out of the gate. Tim Daisy, one of the Chicago-­based group’s two drummers, begins “Water Foul Run Amok” by rapidly clicking his sticks together four times, as if counting off a hardcore song—an especially good joke at the start of an unpremeditated, entirely improvised 39-­minute track, but also entirely appropriate to the explosion of energy that opens it. Anchored by bassist Ingebrit Håker Flaten, the band locks in immediately, its high-octane, fast-moving mixture of groove and clatter buoying and buffeting the outsize blowing of leader Dave Rempis, who starts out on tenor saxophone. Before long the players drop the intensity and open up space, almost like a runner cooling down after a sprint, but then a new bass ostinato arises and the combo is off to the races again. On “Better Than Butter” Rempis deploys his alto, his keening tone soaring over relatively ruminative percussive textures (including tangled kalimba patterns) and his lines shifting from postbop melody to pure slashing rhythm. Ebb and flow is to be expected from an all-improvising group, but the RPQ invests it with blood and sweat, countering their brawn with dynamic balance. While individual musicians push their statements to the fore, the ensemble constantly modulates between bruising sallies of abstract fury and fleeting glimpses of lyric tenderness—and every change is enough to quicken your pulse.

Peter Margasak

Price: $10 suggested donation

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