The Squid's Ear Magazine


Rempis / Abrams / Ra: Aphelion (Aerophonic)

Showcasing the working trio of saxophonist Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams on bass, guimbri and small harp, and percussionist Avreeayl Ra, in a uniquely voiced trio balancing beauty and power.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Dave Rempis-alto saxophone, baritone saxophone

Joshua Abrams-bass, guimbri, small harp

Avreeayl Ra-percussion


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UPC: 700261393964

Label: Aerophonic
Catalog ID: AR 004
Squidco Product Code: 18457

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded between May and September 2013 by Dave Zuchowski.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In contrast to the long musical history presented on Second Spring, Aerophonic's fourth release, Aphelion, showcases the new working trio of Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams, and Avreeayl Ra, a much more recent addition to the list of Rempis' ongoing projects.

This trio is the perfect example of what makes Chicago such a fertile breeding ground for improvised music; three musicians of widely varying ages, backgrounds, playing experiences, and musical interests join forces here to deliver moments of both sublime beauty and volcanic energy, continually tempered by the seamless narrative momentum that they weave together in a seemingly effortless way.

Although the trio has only been working since the fall of 2012, their group dynamic reveals a chemistry that feels much more seasoned than such a short time might allow - perhaps a result of their shared interest in musical experiences that transcend the every day level, and offer something more substantial to the listener.

With Abrams doubling on several different string instruments, and Ra on his characteristically wide array of percussion, the music these three create together is wide-ranging in nature, drawing upon influences from around the world to create a sound that's totally unique within the current milieu of improvised music."-Aerophonic


Artist Biographies

"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/)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Bassist, Composer Joshua Abrams has been in the thick of Chicago's vibrant music scene for fifteen years, playing & recording as leader & sideman in projects across the genres. he co-founded the "back porch minimalist" band town & country (thrill jockey/box media) & with Matana Roberts & Chad Taylor the trio sticks & stones (thrill jockety/482 music). He has released four records under his own name as well as two under the moniker "reminder" that navigate the realms of jazz & improvisation, electro-acoustic composition, beatmaking, minimalism and field recordings (eremite/delmark/eastern developments/lucky kitchen). He has appeared on over 50 recordings including records by Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake & Bindu, Bonny "prince" Billy, Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, Sam Prekop, Mike Reed's Loose Assembly, Ernest Dawkins Chicago 12, Savath & Savalis, Prefuse 73, Rhys Chatham, Rob Mazurek, Tortoise, the Roots, Edith Frost, Mia Doi Todd, Diverse, Joan of Arc, Lorren Mazzacane Connors, David Grubbs, David Boykin, Chris Conelly, & the Cairo Gang. He has performed with Roscoe Mitchell, Bill Dixon, Von Freeman, Fred Anderson trio, John Tchicai, the Exploding Star Orchestra, Henry Grimes, Axel Dorner, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Peter Evans, Damo Suzuki, Wilbert de Joode, Jandek, Walter Wierbos, Tony Conrad, Bobby Broom, Sean Bergin, Nate Wooley, Craig Taborn, David Stakenas, Fred Hopkins, Rhys Chatham, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Neil Michael Hagerty, Lin Halliday, Raymond Strid, Douglas Ewart, Toumani Diabate, the Chicago Underground Orchestra, Ron Dewar, Baby d, Kevin Drumm, Terry x, Frederick Lvunquist, Jim o'Rourke, Kurt Vonnegut, & Earle Brown. When in chicago he plays weekly with Jeff Parker and John Herndon."

-Nicole Mitchell Website (http://nicolemitchell.com/joshua-abrams)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Chicago master drummer/percussionist Avreeayl Ra was born in Chicago and still lives there today. He is a renowned musician always in demand among visiting jazz artists in Chicago. Avreeayl's father, Arthur 'Swinglee' O'Neil, was a tenor saxophonist who was mentor to many young Chicago musicians, including John Gilmore, later the mainstay of Sun Ra's Arkestra. Avreeayl is a long-term member of the Chicago AACM, and has performed and/or recorded with Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Henry Butler, Henry Byrd ('Professor Longhair'), Hamid Drake, Nicole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Malachi Thompson, and many more."

-Ragdale (http://ragdale.org/residency/resident/avreeayl-ra/)
2/26/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Ruah 3:58

2. Noriya 26:17

3. Saqiya 21:15

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Trio Recordings
Trio Recordings
Friends of Squid

Search for other titles on the label:
Aerophonic.


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