Speaking of Chicago and the Hungry Brain, here’s another pair of superb live recordings from the city’s vibrant jazz scene. Featuring Dave Rempis on saxophones, Matt Piet on piano and Tim Daisy on drums, Throw Tomatoes includes two action-packed live improv sessions.
“To Play Is The Thing” was recorded last May at Elastic Arts in Chicago. “The Thousand Natural Shocks” came two months later at the aforementioned Hungry Brain.
“The title of this album by the Rempis/Piet/Daisy trio is my own flippant gesture to the listener,” writes Piet in the album’s notes. “Say what you will about this music; this is what we three offer you, unapologetically. If you are revolted by the madness of our method, well, by all means, revolt: throw tomatoes.”
Count this new disc among the many examples of improv jazz being more punk rock than punk rock. And count Hungry Brain among the clubs that constitute ground zero.
Back to that title, which is more than simply a call to arms. Piet comes to this extraordinary music from the theatre, which helps explain his colourful playing and intuitive interplay with the bad. Rempis and Daisy share both those traits.
“Playing with this trio gives me the sensation that I’ve only experienced in the theatre,” writes Piet. “I feel confidently that I can make all the right moves as a player and simultaneously entertain all the delights of a listener, as though I’m a member of the audience myself.”
The contributions of all three are balanced, both in qualitative and quantitative terms. Surprisingly, the trio had performed together just twice before these two recordings.
There’s a moment, 18 minutes into the second track, when the tempo slows for a short stretch. It’s a neat shift, but what’s impressive (and telling about this trio) is that you can’t tell who is leading the way. Same thing when the pace picks back up. Their improvisational style is so connected and so organic that it feels, if you’ll forgive the term, composed.