Some of Chicago's top improvisers in a set of new compositions by pianist Karayorgis, featuring reed players Rempis and Jackson in various powerful sax and clarinet combinations.
Label: Driff Records
Catalog ID: 1304
Squidco Product Code: 17833
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover, unsealed
Recorded at Chicago Public Media's Jim & Kay Performance Studio by Mary Gaffney on January 16th, 2012.
Dave Rempis-tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone
Keefe Jackson-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet
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1. Undertow 6:04
2. Nudge 6:30
3. Swarm 9:37
4. Circuitous 5:30
5. Vortex 8:52
6. Evenfall 4:36
7. Blue Line 9:15
8. Here in July 5:18
9. Souvenir 5:26
Related Categories of Interest:
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Boston Area Improvisers
sample the album:
"The title Circuitous goes to the heart of Pandelis Karayorgis's creative process, the cycling back, the moving forward, the presence of patterns and the embrace of their opposite, the sense of the road less taken. You feel the pressure of origins, but also a sudden spinning outward, a looping toward new meanings. Karayorgis is a radical conservative, radical in the sense that he has looked with a special intensity at the roots of the music that he plays, conservative in that he maintains a relationship to what is most vital in the tradition. His music seems to proceed from a fundamental question, "How does one make meaningful work?"
Listening to Karayorgis's music, we hear a fundamental rethinking of modern jazz-bop--and its original impact. We're conditioned to listen to a conventional jazz performance through its mechanics, as a theme and set of variations, the theme often there only as something to be varied, the emphasis clearly on the soloist, that function enshrined in the chain that regularly concludes with a drum solo, the ultimate erasure of harmonic and melodic. But the great jazz composers and many of the great jazz bands clearly approached a work as something else, a gestalt, a work of interlocking parts, some fixed, some variable, some radically extensible, all liable to form new relationships and meanings. The work's total form had primacy over individual solos.
Listen to Thelonious Monk's early recordings and they were already great before he had great soloists and before the musicians had time to stretch out. Working with the limited palette of a small group and theme-and-variation patterns, Monk's music represented-even created-complex psychological states which have resonated ever since. The same is true of others in Monk's circle-Bud Powell, Elmo Hope, Herbie Nichols-and some outside, like Lennie Tristano and Hassan ibn Ali.
Pandelis Karayorgis develops the same thing here: in a brilliant revisioning of the modern jazz tradition, he constructs complex fields in which a listener is engaged in the play of puzzle, form and dialogue, and Karayorgis does it with an intensity and urgency that insist this is meaningful-even crucial--activity. [...]"-Stuart Broomer, from the liner notes
• Show Bio for Dave Rempis
"Dave Rempis was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts on March 24th, 1975. He began his musical studies at the age of 8, inspired by a family friend who played clarinet in local Greek bands, and by Zoot, of the Muppets Band, to pick up saxophone. During high school he performed in his town, district, and all-state bands and wind ensembles, as well as in a jazz combo at a local music school.
In 1993, Rempis began a degree in classical saxophone at Northwestern University with Frederick Hemke. Finding this environment stifling, Rempis quickly ditched the music degree to pursue studies in anthropology and ethnomusicology. As part of these studies, he spent a year at the International Centre for African Music and Dance at the University of Ghana, Legon, studying African music and ethnomusicology. He also continued to perform with many different types of groups, ranging from highlife and reggae bands while in Ghana, to jazz, free jazz, funk, and contemporary music ensembles at home. He graduated from Northwestern in 1997.
Upon graduating, Rempis decided to focus on performing, and in March of 1998 at the age of 22 was asked to replace veteran saxophonist Mars Williams in the well-known Chicago jazz outfit The Vandermark Five. This opportunity catapulted him to notoriety as he began to tour regularly throughout the US and Europe playing clubs, concert halls, and festivals on both continents.
During his tenure with The Vandermark Five, Rempis also began to develop the many Chicago-based groups and international collaborations for which he's currently known, including The Rempis Percussion Quartet, The Engines, Ballister, Rempis/Abrams/Ra, Wheelhouse, The Rempis/Rosaly Duo, and The Rempis/Daisy Duo. Many of these groups have been documented on the Okkadisk, 482 Music, Not Two, Clean Feed, Solitaire, and Utech record labels. Past collaborations have included performances with Paul Lytton, Axel Dörner, Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Steve Swell, John Tchicai, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Anderson, Kevin Drumm, Paal Nilssen-Love, Nels Cline, Tony Buck, and Joe McPhee. Rempis has been named regularly since 2006 in the annual Downbeat Critics's Poll as a "rising star" on alto saxophone, and as a "rising star" and "established talent" on baritone saxophone.
Aside from performing, Rempis is also active as a presenter. Since 2002, he's curated a weekly Thursday-night concert series for the Elastic Arts Foundation. The series has featured over 500 concerts by some of the best improvisers from around the world, while maintaining a focus on up-and-coming local musicians. In late 2005, Rempis helped form the presenters' collective Umbrella Music, working with a small group of musicians and presenters in Chicago to provide better playing opportunities for creative and improvising musicians. As part of this group, he organized the annual Umbrella Music Festival from 2006-2014.
Rempis is also one of the main organizers of the indie-rock Pitchfork Music Festival, a 60,000-person event which takes place in Chicago's Union Park every July."-Dave Rempis Website (http://daverempis.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Keefe Jackson
"Keefe Jackson, saxophonist/clarinetist/improvisor/composer, arrived in Chicago in 2001 from his native Fayettevile, Arkansas. He performs regularly in the U.S. and in Europe with many musicians including Pandelis Karayorgis, Tomeka Reid, Tim Daisy, Dave Rempis, Jeb Bishop, Jason Roebke, Jason Adasiewicz, Mike Reed, Jason Stein, Josh Berman, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Frank Rosaly, Oscar Jan Hoogland and Marc Unternaehrer. He has also appeared with Michael Moore, Ab Baars, Michiel Braam, Satoko Fujii, and Anthony Coleman. Bill Meyer (Chicago Reader): "...the impeccable logic of his lines and the richness of his tone leave you wanting more... Jackson's high-register squiggles and coarsely voiced, rippling runs push the limits of the tenor's tonal envelope." Frank van Herk, de Volkskrant (Amsterdam): "[Jackson] has an old-fashioned, warm-woolly sound, and a feeling for melodic lines that take their time in unfolding." He has been mentioned in the DownBeat Critics Poll in the Rising Star Tenor Saxophone category. Recordings are available on Delmark and Clean Feed Records."-Keefe Jackson Website (http://www.keefejackson.com/)
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• Show Bio for Frank Rosaly
"Frank Rosaly (Francisco Javier Rosaly Amoros Rosello - b. 5/30/74 Phoenix, AZ) is a drummer and composer living in Chicago. He has been involved in the improvised and experimental music community since 2001 where he has become an integral part of Chicago's musical fabric, navigating a fine line between the vibrant improvised music, experimental, rock and jazz communities. He contributes much of his time to performing, composing, teaching, as well as organizing musical events, while also touring regularly domestically and internationally.
Frank is currently active in many projects throughout Chicago as well as New York and in Europe. Some groups include Bobby Bradford/Frode Gjerstad Quartet, Matana Robert's Chicago Project, Rob Mazurek's Mandarin Movie, The Rempis Percussion Quartet, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten Quintet, Scorch Trio, Nicole Mitchell Ice Crystal Quartet, Jason Stein Quartet, Jeff Parker/Nels Cline Quartet, Josh Abrams' Natural Information Society, Fred Lonberg-Holm's Valentine Trio, Keefe Jackson's Project Project, The Fast Citizens, The Jeb Bishop Trio, Jason Adasievicz's Rolldown, Jorrit Dijkstra's Flatlands Collective, Chicago Lucern Exchange, Hearts and Minds, Slow Cycle, Outskirts, Darren Johnston's Chicago Quintet, Anchor and others."-Frank Rosaly Website (http://fjrosalbio.blogspot.com/)
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