I have rarely heard a live CD that starts so powerful as this one. After a short intro, the whole band dives in full throttle, no holds barred, full of energy and drive, full of self-confidence and without hesitations, slow-downs or any other deviations: onward and forward, no matter what. The train driver is Dave Rempis, on tenor on this piece, with Anton Hatwich on bass and with the double drums of Tim Daisy and Frank Rosaly. After six minutes Rempis shuts up and leaves his locomotive in the hands of the rhythm section, full speed, onward and forward, and when Rempis re-joins, what started as a boppish tune, now swirls into full swing, with his expressive horn borrowing from tradition in a wild rollercoaster of a free solo, relentlessly, keeping up the powerplay without slacking down, but then yes, it comes to a halt, unavoidably, after eighteen minutes of madness. On the second piece, Rempis switches to alto, for a piece which is the exact opposite of the first one, slow, sensitive and calm, first solo, then joined by arco bass and gently the percussion enters the tune as well. The third piece starts with polyrhythmic drums, for a free form piece, more abstract, totally unpredictable, and it is only after about ten minutes that a steady vamp gets going, giving the tune a more traditional foundation for the music's development, yet it slows down into a quite kind of intermezzo, with the four musicians softly bouncing off ideas, gently, sensitively, slowly gathering volume, and speed, ending the tune again in a paroxysm of sound, to the general satisfaction of Alchemia's enthusiastic audience.
Listen to an excerpt from "The Disappointment Of Parsley"