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Western Automatic

by The Chicago Reed Quartet

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Burn Unit 07:23
Remnant 05:01
The Rush 09:00
P.O.P. 11:46
Hotsy Totsy 08:02


Four generations of Chicago saxophonists join forces in this collaborative quartet, each one separated in age by almost exactly ten years. This wasn’t a calculated decision when Rempis and Vandermark first brainstormed the idea of the group in late 2013. The lineup came together based purely on the musical affinity of the personalities involved. (Oddly enough, Mazzarella and Williams had also been discussing the idea of forming a saxophone quartet at that time). However, the complex web of musical collaborations between these four musicians in countless combinations dating back twenty-five years, as well as their differing perspectives on composition, improvisation, and the instruments themselves, combine to reveal a truly cross-sectional perspective on the Chicago improvised music scene. Although an unintended consequence of the lineup that Rempis and Vandermark initiated, this accidental result may be one of the most intriguing perspectives from which to look at the quartet’s music. These eight pieces, two compositions from each of the band members, were workshopped extensively in 2014, with regular rehearsals and concerts in Chicago throughout the winter and spring. This recording was made mostly in one day, all in single takes, on a laid-back, closed-door, summer afternoon session at Chicago’s Hungry Brain. And within these eight pieces, one can hear an ongoing artistic dialogue that stretches back for decades.


released June 23, 2015

1) Burn Unit (Williams) 7:24
2) Remnant (Mazzarella) 5:01
3) Broken Record Fugue (Vandermark) 8:57
4) The Rush (Rempis) 9:00
5) Camera Obscura (Mazzarella) 6:43
6) P.O.P. (Williams) 11:47
7) Hotsy Totsy (Rempis) 8:03
8) Detroit Fields (Vandermark) 7:05

All tracks recorded August 10th, 2014 at the Hungry Brain, Chicago except for Track 6 recorded June 21st, 2014 at the Sugar Maple, Milwaukee during Okka Fest 6.

All compositions by Mazzarella (BMI), Rempis (ASCAP), Vandermark (Twenty First Mobile Music/ASCAP), and Williams (Music from Mars/BMI) as noted.

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Dave Zuchowski
Design by Johnathan Crawford
Produced by Dave Rempis

Special thanks to Janice White, Dan Morrizo, Adrienne Pierluissi, and Bruno Johnson


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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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