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Rempis Percussion Quartet: Phalanx

With these excellent albums, saxophonist Dave Rempis, an important musician-presenter in Chicago, launched his own Aerophonic label in June. The two-disc Phalanx captures wide-open live sets by the long-running Rempis Percussion Quartet featuring bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and dual drummers Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly. Boss of the Plains marks the recording debut of Wheelhouse, a drummerless, chamber-style trio featuring vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and bassist Nate McBride.

A onetime protégé of Ken Vandermark, with whom he still performs, Rempis is cut from the same cloth as that reed player in terms of his intense blowing style, his debt to European free-jazz pioneers like Peter Brötzmann and his ability to juggle several bands at once, including the Engines and Ballister. But Rempis has developed his own distinctive approach. That’s immediately evident on Boss of the Plains via its coolly atmospheric sound, long sustained tones and the saxophonist’s Ornette-like cries on alto.

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