Dave Rempis Solo
Performing solo is one of the biggest challenges facing any improviser. It’s the most exposed and revealing setting for a musician, and presents a unique set of problems. Without other musicians to respond to and interact with, the improviser is left to discover a vocabulary completely of their own creation. Following in the tradition set by Coleman Hawkins and Eric Dolphy, along with living masters of the solo saxophone such as Anthony Braxton, Joe McPhee, Evan Parker, Mats Gustafsson, and Ab Baars, Rempis has made the seemingly unwise decision to attempt some solo performances of his own over the last few years. Aside from several solo engagements in Chicago, he’s also performed solo during two tours of Europe in 2011 and 2012, with concerts in Berlin, Poznan, Warsaw, Krakow, and Paris. In the spring of 2017, Rempis undertook an extensive thirty-one date solo tour of the United States to develop this work further, and to establish connections with improvisers in each city he visited by performing with local musicians in every locale. The working title of this project was “Lattice,” also the name of his first solo recording which came out int fall of 2017 on Aerophonic Records.
I recall an interview with a lionized baby boomer saxophonist, who told the story of listening to side one, and only side one, of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965). He was reluctant to turn the LP over (this was in the pre-digital era), thinking side two could never match the majesty of "Acknowledgement" and "Resolution." One could have a similar experience with track one of saxophonist Dave Rempis' Lattice. His six-minute take on Billy Strayhorn's "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing" is presented as a sort of hallucinatory purr, or dream. Rempis shepherds his baritone saxophone with an intimacy of breath that turns the listening experience into a bit of voyeurism....The notes to this recording indicate these tracks were culled from 31 concerts recorded in 27 cities. Let's hope there is a second volume forthcoming! -Mark Corroto, All About Jazz
Regaling listeners in a recent podcast conversation, trumpeter and erstwhile Chicagoan Jaimie Branch waxed warmly about saxophonist Dave Rempis and more specifically his long-standing role as a linchpin of that city’s improvised music scene. Similar impressions abound. Stories of Rempis’ generosity and self-effacing efforts for others are as common as the gigs that seem to reliably pack his calendar. That proven ability to foster and amplify connections feeds right into the aptly named Lattice while creatively reflecting the converse condition as well....Solo improvisation is naked expression. Rempis isn’t the least bit ashamed to exhibit his art sans accompanying attire. -Derek Taylor, Dusted
Lattice, the product of his extensive tour and the 14th album on his own label, frames Rempis' aesthetics within the great legacy of solo sax improvisations. Rempis acknowledges the seminal influence of sax greats Coleman Hawkins and Eric Dolphy and of innovative, living master as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Evan Parker, Joe McPhee, Ab Baars, and Mats Gustafsson. The recording, culled from several live performances from the latter half of the second leg of this solo journey, offer multiple perspectives for playing solo - on the alto, tenor and baritone saxes. Altogether these improvisations sketch an informal, yet complex artistic network in Rempiss - and the listener's - mind; a lattice. -Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog