Saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly have performed and recorded together in countless projects since Rosaly arrived on the Chicago scene in 2001, including the Thread Quintet, the Ingebrigt Håker Flaten Quintet, The Outskirts, and The Rempis Percussion Quartet. Both musicians have established themselves as prominent players in the active milieu of the Chicago jazz scene, and spend as much time on the road in North America and Europe as they do at home. Their duo, active since 2004, focuses on the wide-ranging possibilities inherent to free-improvisation. And while both musicians are comfortable in the more abstract sonic spaces pioneered by European improvisers, neither one shies away from hard-hitting grooves, nor are they afraid of melodies or swing. Having allowed this relationship to develop gradually over the years, they released their first cd, Cyrillic in January of 2010, and toured extensively in the United States and Canada in support of that release. They completed their first European tour as a duo with thirteen concerts in April of 2011.
Rempis and Rosaly’s studied interplay lends even the most threadbare of skeletal themes a sense of foresight, making this fully improvised session one of the more concise and cohesive dates of its kind. – Troy Collins, All About Jazz
This album's vocabulary is vast! – Walter Tunis, Lexington Herald-Leader
Nowhere are expanded musical possibilities more present and more obvious than on Rempis and Rosaly's new disc, Cyrillic. From extended drones to hyperkinetic frenzies, and everywhere in between, it perfectly encapsulates their live interaction. – Logan K. Young, Columbia Free-Times
Rosaly and Rempis derive much inspiration from the European tradition of improvisation, and their duo work highlights their intention to chart a crossroads where abstraction, swing, and melody all intersect, albeit in inverted and decidedly off-kilter ways. With his frothing rhythmic calculus, Rosaly reaches far beyond the concept of the drum set as mere beat-making tool. Instead, he thoroughly re-imagines the instrument as a highly expressive, multi-faceted, and ongoing conversation with itself. Rosaly creates a dense thicket of sound for Rempis to hack through, and surely enough the pair manages to stir up a great deal of chaos as their trains of thought rub, collide, and burst in the squall. At the same time, the listener never loses the sense that theirs is a true conversation, and the chaos proceeds with an almost well-mannered cadence that recalls the feeling you get when overhearing an engrossing back-and-forth between old friends who know when it's okay to shout and when it's imperative to read between the lines and leave certain things unsaid. – Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, Rochester City Newspaper
Because saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Frank Rosaly are half of the splendid Rempis Percussion Quartet, you might imagine you’d only get half as much music from just the two of them. But the duo format actually affords them more freedom to explore divergent styles and dynamic extremes. – Bill Meyer, Chicago Reader
In the words of Jeffrey Tambor as the critic Clement Greenberg in Ed Harris’s film Pollock, "There is no representation, just paint." Or, in this case, just sound. This is free music, but also deliberate, disciplined. Like the action painters Clement Greenberg wrote about, Rosaly and Rempis are acutely aware of the relationship of mark to ground, sound to silence.
– Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix
One of the 10 best releases of 2009 -Sam De Leo, Denver Post