Triage - Rempis' first working band, was active from 1999 until 2005. Initially conceived by Dave Rempis on saxophones, with Jason Ajemian on bass and Tim Daisy on drums, the group was key to defining the sound of a new generation of Chicago improvisers. With regular work at Chicago venues such as the Empty Bottle, the Velvet Lounge, 3030, the Hothouse, the Nervous Center, and the Hungry Brain, the group fine-tuned their approach to a music which is still undergoing a great renaissance in this city. They also toured extensively in the US, completing four lengthy tours in as many years, with an inaugural tour of Europe in November of 2004. With such frequent performances, the band established itself as one of the few working groups in an era of "project" bands.
As a trio, these three combine to create wide-ranging forms of musical expression. Performing original compositions almost exclusively, the band moves through quiet textural pieces, grooving jazz-oriented tunes, and wailing, expressionistic romps with equal ability. Using these compositions as a springboard for their improvisations, they manage to combine the rhythmic sensibilities of the American jazz and free jazz tradition with the more abstract spaces frequently associated with European improvisers. The reconstitution of stylistic elements from these disparate traditions sheds light on both of them in a unique and powerful way.
The band made five records. Their self-titled, self-released debut was recorded in the fall of 1999. Other releases include Premium Plastics, (August 2001:Solitaire Records), Twenty Minute Cliff, (May 2003:Okkadisk) and American Mythology (September 2004:Okkadisk). Stagger (June 2005: Utech Records).
These guys take their work seriously and engage the compositions with total commitment, taking the necessary time to develop ideas to the full, producing as a result one of the most solid and satisfying outings from Chicago I've heard this year. -Dan Warburton, Signal to Noise
What was once a promising jazz trio in search of a distinct voice has become an impeccably disciplined band merging elements of avant-garde experimentation with classic swing-trio work. -Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Triage..has become one of the city/s most dependable and flexible free-jazz units. -Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Rempis' saxophone playing is nothing short of fantastic, at times reminiscent of Coltrane's later work. Ajemian and Daisy both exhibit a subtle mastery of their instruments..this show should be great! -Joe Tarr, Knoxville Metro Pulse
…….their unique voice comes through clearly in compositions that swing and sing gorgeously as they engage in a telepathic groupthink as mysterious and effective as any freethinking trio today. -Chris Parker, Raleigh Independent
Triage presents creative improvised music at its best: a strong group dynamic, an engaging harmonic sensibility, focus on exploration, and a foundation of collective energy. Because this disc is densely packed with ideas and layers, each listen brings another stratum of depth. Triage is definitely a group to watch in the already fertile Chicago improvised music scene. -Jay Collins, One Final Note