First thing I do is sharpen a pencil. Then I open a notebook to a fresh page and run my hand over it feeling the smoothness and unbound potential for the last time. Next comes the title written at the centre of the top of the page, thus spoiling the crisp white, Hit the Ground Running. Next I write out the players and their instruments, which will likely get integrated into the review as opposed to just stating them in list form.
Dave Rempis (Tenor and Alto Saxophones)
Matt Piet (Piano)
Tim Daisy (Drums)
Next comes the label it was released on, Aerophonic and any relevant info I can did up like, its Rempis’ label and it was recorded live at Elastic Arts in Chicago January 21st, 2017.
Okay enough of that, time to get to work. Usually at this point, I hit play on whatever devise the track was recorded on and wait for the music and the words to come. SO with pencil at the ready and my structure in place I hit play on this record and wait for whatever comes at me.
It starts beautifully enough with a fractured melody from Piet and an equally matched rhythm from Daisy. They play around with this for a minute and a half to start the opening track, ‘Long Night Ahead’ until Rempis enters the equation with a soaring sax line that elevates the track to such a height that I could only do one thing. Put the pencil down. I could wait for the words to come for this one, but I would be waiting for quite some time. Today I’m a fan.
Only once the shock of this record started to wear off and I started to hear what they were doing and the constant joy of this track allowed me to keep my pencil in my hand, could I begin to extrapolate how good this track is. It is expertly recorded which allows each player to be expressive and contribute to the over all aural palate with every subtlety captured.
Each player is allowed to express where they are now in their jazz thinking but still have the foresight and self control to propel the track and calm the track whenever it is needed.
One of my favourite tracks of 2017.
‘Keep Alert’ the second and last track on the record, is equally as potent with the players expanding and compressing all over the place. The structure on this track is a little more familiar with each getting a more traditional solo space and neither of them are wasted.
And as if it couldn’t get any better, there is a humanitarian side to this recording. All proceeds go to “Refugee One, a local Chicago-based organization that creates opportunities for refugees fleeing war, terror, and persecution to build new lives of safety, dignity, and self-reliance.” Quote taken from their press release.