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Neutral Nation

by Rempis/Johnston/Ochs

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Pierce Arrow 28:42


Dave Rempis - alto/baritone saxophone
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Larry Ochs - sopranino/tenor saxophone

All compositions by Rempis/Johnston/Ochs

Recorded live at Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY, May 21st, 2015 by Bill Sack
Design by Johnathan Crawford
Produced by Dave Rempis

Special thanks to David Kennedy, Steve Baczkowski, and all of the folks at Hallwalls, as well as to Kate Dumbleton for her ongoing support of this project and so many others.


released March 8, 2016

This live recording finds the collaborative trio of Rempis, Johnston, and Ochs hard at work in the middle of their first full-on North American tour in May of 2015. Documenting a concert from the landmark venue Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY, the trio follows up on their previous release, 2014’s Spectral, having taken their unique approach to spontaneous composition to the next level through the crucible that only touring can provide. On this new recording they tackle two pieces that are significantly more extended than the ones documented on their earlier release, while still employing the same core strategy that made that recording so compelling; an ability to look far down the road in order to anticipate the larger structures that can emerge from even the slightest gesture. The trio moves with patience, and capitalizes on space, waiting for the appropriate moments to strike, always at the service of the ensemble motion.

As this process unfolds, they employ a seemingly endless wealth of musical approaches, in which lush harmonies dissolve into breathy overtones and tea kettle whispers, which then shift into snarls and smears of sound built up thick and chunky on the canvas. At other times, all three show the ability to swoop in like so many vultures, pile onto a phrase, and then drop off individually as if falling off their own respective cliff. Meanwhile the rough and tumble timbres of Ochs’ gruff but tender tenor sound mix with Johnston’s seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of the myriad mute techniques of the early-Ellington trumpet sections, to create a pallet of unbelievable breadth. This live document truly shows a band at a creative and developmental peak.


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Aerophonic Records / Dave Rempis Chicago, Illinois

Aerophonic Records is a 100% artist-run label created by well-known Chicago saxophonist Dave Rempis (Rempis Percussion Quartet, The Engines, Ballister, Vandermark Five) to document his ongoing work. His intent with the label is to give him more direct contact with his audience, more control over how his work is presented, and more synchronicity between touring schedules and recorded output. ... more

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