The Squid's Ear Magazine


Rempis, Dave / Tashi Dorji Duo: Gnash (Aerophonic)

Beginning their tours as a duo in 2017 and expanded into the trio Kuzu, Bhutanese improvising guitarist Tashi Dorji and Chicago saxophone improviser Dave Rempis recorded these four exotically powerful dialogs after their 2023 tour, performing at The Sugar Maple, in Milwaukee, Rempis on multiple saxophones including the soprano sax that the late Mars Williams gifted to him.
 

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Personnel:



Dave Rempis-saxophones

Tashi Dorji-guitar


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UPC: 0769947425184

Label: Aerophonic
Catalog ID: AR043
Squidco Product Code: 34880

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at The Sugar Maple, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 26th, 2024, by Dave Zuchowski.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"This overdue duo record by longtime colleagues Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Dave Rempis (saxophones) is a monument to the endless musical curiosity that links them. These two come at it from remarkably different backgrounds - Dorji combining his Bhutanese ethnicity with a love for metal, punk, American blues and folk, and anarchist political theory, with Rempis riding the outer edges of the jazz world throughout his career, while also inspired by his

"This overdue duo record by longtime colleagues Tashi Dorji (guitar) and Dave Rempis (saxophones) is a monument to the endless musical curiosity that links them. These two come at it from remarkably different backgrounds - Dorji combining his Bhutanese ethnicity with a love for metal, punk, American blues and folk, and anarchist political theory, with Rempis riding the outer edges of the jazz world throughout his career, while also inspired by his Greek ethnicity and a longstanding interest in folk musics from around the globe. The genre-less record that results here is astounding. With no allegiance to any specific orthodoxy, the two create something wholly new from their disparate vocabularies.

This end-result isn't just a matter of open-minded listening though. The two have put in some serious elbow grease since 2017 when they first came together as a duo on the extensive solo tour that Rempis undertook across the US that spring. Performing together in Dorji's hometown of Asheville, the two spurred one another on with back-to-back solo sets that ratcheted up the fire, before coming together in a shared union of volcanic proportions. That initial meeting soon led to the formation of the trio Kuzu with drummer Tyler Damon, which has toured extensively, and released five outstanding records since 2018.

Over the past couple of years, the two have also decided to re-visit the more stripped back duo context as a way to re-discover the underlying tendons of what's become a profound musical relationship. In 2023, they headed out on a string of duo performances including a widely heralded set at FIMAV in Victoriaville, QC that May, and a stretch of dates in the southeastern US in October, all in preparation for the live January 2024 recording session from which Gnash emerged. For that session, the two met up on Rempis' month-long Thursday-night residency at the Hungry Brain in Chicago, then ventured up north the following evening for a concert at Milwaukee's beloved Sugar Maple, a homebase where the two have recorded twice before. Playing to a packed-out house on a cold midwestern Friday evening, Rempis and Dorji channeled the energy and anticipation from the crowd into two sets of patient, deliberate, and focused creativity.

On a special note, this album marks Rempis' recorded debut on soprano saxophone, an instrument left to him by friend and mentor Mars Williams when he passed in November 2023 after a year-long battle with cancer. Rempis regards this new ax as a homework assignment that's gotta be giving Williams, the consummate prankster, a hearty laugh each time he hears Rempis struggle through some of the many challenges this beast of a horn presents. Thanks Mars!"-Aerophonic

ethnicity and a longstanding interest in folk musics from around the globe. The genre-less record that results here is astounding. With no allegiance to any specific orthodoxy, the two create something wholly new from their disparate vocabularies.

This end-result isn't just a matter of open-minded listening though. The two have put in some serious elbow grease since 2017 when they first came together as a duo on the extensive solo tour that Rempis undertook

across the US that spring. Performing together in Dorji's hometown of Asheville, the two spurred one another on with back-to-back solo sets that ratcheted up the fire, before coming together in a shared union of volcanic proportions. That initial meeting soon led to the formation of the trio Kuzu with drummer Tyler Damon, which has toured extensively, and released five outstanding records since 2018.

Over the past couple of years, the two have also decided to re-visit the more stripped back duo context as a way to re-discover the underlying tendons of what's become a profound musical relationship. In 2023, they headed out on a string of duo performances including a widely heralded set at FIMAV in Victoriaville, QC that May, and a stretch of dates in the southeastern US in October, all in preparation for the live January 2024 recording session from which Gnash emerged. For that session, the two met up on Rempis' month-long

Thursday-night residency at the Hungry Brain in Chicago, then ventured up north the following evening for a concert at Milwaukee's beloved Sugar Maple, a homebase where the two have recorded twice before. Playing to a packed-out house on a cold midwestern Friday evening, Rempis and Dorji channeled the energy and anticipation from the crowd into two sets of patient, deliberate, and focused creativity.

On a special note, this album marks Rempis' recorded debut on soprano saxophone, an instrument left to him by friend and mentor Mars Williams when he passed in November 2023 after a year-long battle with cancer. Rempis regards this new ax as a homework assignment that's gotta be giving Williams, the consummate prankster, a hearty laugh each time he hears Rempis struggle through some of the many challenges this beast of a horn presents. Thanks Mars!"-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/)
7/10/2024

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

"Tashi Dorji grew up in Bhutan, on the eastern side of the Himalayas. Residing in Asheville since 2000 and soaking up a vast array of music. Along the way, Dorji developed a playing style unbound by tradition, yet with a direct line to intuitive artistry. His recordings feature improvisations that spasmodically grow along tangential, surprising paths. All references break loose during a composition, as Dorji keys into his own inner world.

His compositions drag the listener into a labyrinth of warbling tones, where each sound seems to jump out and replace the eerie silence that would otherwise occupy the atmosphere. The textures remain sustained in the reverberation as the vibration of the strings dwindle and ascend. The experience is one equally disorienting and reflective, in which Dorji's musicianship brings haunting beauty and mindfulness to the listener. After a handful of releases on various labels since 2009, Dorji presented his debut LP on Hermit Hut, the label created by Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) in 2014. Since then Tashi has released music in various formats on labels like Bathetic Records, Cabin Floor Esoterica, Blue Tapes, Marmara Records, Feeding Tubes,VDSQ & MIE."

-Tashi Dorji Website (https://tashidorji.com/music/)
7/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Forms 06:31

2. Orphic Hymn 20:22

3. Ask For The Impossible 23:31

4. Zilch 11:02

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Electro-Acoustic
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Guitarists, &c.
Duo Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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Aerophonic.


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