Dave Rempis – saxophones
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass
Frank Rosaly – drums
Live @ The Hungry Brain, April 2009
The Outskirts is a free-improvising trio featuring Rempis on saxophones with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on bass and Frank Rosaly on drums. The band formed in 2006, during Flaten’s two-year residency in Chicago. Although all three are featured in Flaten’s quintet, and in the Rempis Percussion Quartet, this group maintains a very different sound than the larger contexts, particularly due to Flaten and Rosaly’s use of electronics here. Since Flaten moved to Austin, Texas in the spring of 2008, the band is working less frequently, but their last performance at the 2010 Umbrella Music Festival inspired much critical and audience acclaim.
Rempis revs up rejuvenated Velvet Lounge
By Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
January 22, 2007,
In short order, the rejuvenated Velvet Lounge has become indispensable to new ideas in music.
Consider the band that’s rattling the windowpanes Wednesday nights at the Velvet, which reopened last year on East Cermak Road after losing its home on South Indiana Avenue.
With Dave Rempis on saxophones, Frank Rosaly on drums and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, the Velvet has an exceptional Wednesday night attraction that easily could merit a Saturday night slot. The all-star trio plays innovative music at the highest artistic level.
Moreover, though many listeners associate the jazz avant-garde — or “creative improvisation” — with high-decibel noise, Rempis and friends prove there’s plenty of lyrical content to be mined in even the most iconoclastic musical idioms.
Certainly this was the case on a recent Wednesday night, when the trio turned in a deeply engaging first set.
Rempis, in particular, favored an intensely melodic approach to free-form improvisation, making him something of an anomaly among Chicago-based firebrands. Though there was no questioning the rhythmic freedom, harmonic daring and expressive breadth of Rempis’ music, he often took pains to craft long melodic lines and to reference earlier periods of jazz history, especially the bebop era.
So regardless of how far afield Rempis ventured in his extended soliloquies, he gave listeners something to hold onto: a recurring motif, a grandly arched phrase, even a vaguely familiar chord progression. The approach hardly could have been more appropriate for the Velvet Lounge, because its septuagenarian owner — Chicago tenor saxophone legend Fred Anderson — long has represented a link between cutting-edge music of the past and the present.
Like Anderson, Rempis happens to be blessed with a larger-than-life sound. When he played alto saxophone, his tone seemed capable of cutting through concrete. When he picked up the baritone sax, he produced a deep, resplendent well of sound. One would be hard-pressed, in fact, to cite a baritone saxophonist who brings more sensitivity and warmth to experimental music.
To his credit, Rempis has found two like-minded partners. Drummer Rosaly belongs to the less-is-more school of performance, on this occasion saying a great deal with crisp, nimbly articulated turns of phrase. He listened as acutely as he played, picking up the motifs of his colleagues and transforming them. Unlike many young drummers, Rosaly preferred to advance the discourse of the trio rather than draw the spotlight to himself.Bassist Haker Flaten proved capable of a wide breadth of expression, from uncommonly soft utterances in the low registers to insistent exclamations up high. Wednesdays will never be the same.