[24 February 2014]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Albums of just saxophone and drums are, understandably, difficult to approach. How can just two individuals, one of them behind a kit, keep instrumental music fresh and interesting over the course of 54 minutes? Well, improvisation is all about surrendering yourself to the moment so that you may collaborate with it. Saxophonist Dave Rempis and drummer Tim Daisy have been kicking the can with Chicago vanguards like Ken Vandermark for so long that it’s funny to think of a time when they might have been novices at improvisation. Second Spring isn’t even their first outing together.
Daisy uses every inch of his kit as well as every stick and mallet in his bag, maximizing the expressive aspects of the drums. Rempis, too, can conjure some mighty brave sounds from his axe as he does in “Numbers Lost”. There was once a saxophonist who went by the nickname Bird, but Rempis does sounds like an honest-to-god bird on this track. Simultaneously abstract and expressive, Second Spring is worth the whirlwind.