Kris Davis: Capricorn Climber (2013)

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Track review of "Big Band Ball"

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Kris Davis: Capricorn Climber
Relocating from her native Canada to New York City, pianist Kris Davis has infused her imposing talents into New York City's unconventional, downtown-like scene. She once again aligns her compositional and improvisation expertise with like-minded artists, who frequently transition the jazz idiom into a boundless vista. Hence, the album projects a topsy-turvy and rather oscillating aura, featuring the musicians' use of counterpoint, space, and emphatic exchanges. They mix it up, while also stretching themes to the hilt amid several introspective interludes that intimate a time warp of sorts.

"Big Band Ball" commences as a spooky foray, perhaps hinting at encounters from ungodly influences. Here, Davis locks in with violaist Mat Maneri
Mat Maneri
Mat Maneri
b.1969
viola
and bassist Trevor Dunn's rhythmic plucking that conjures emotive responses and opens the floodgates for drummer Tom Rainey
Tom Rainey
Tom Rainey
b.1957
drums
's lyrical rim-shots and asymmetrical tom hits. Imagery of a revolving panorama comes to fruition, heightened by saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock
Ingrid Laubrock
Ingrid Laubrock
b.1970
saxophone
's yearning lines via a loose groove, implanted with a multipart structural component. With snappy backbeats and Davis' animated voicings, the band merges a whimsical scenario with exploratory dialogues.

Davis' significant compositional skills are evident throughout. Moreover, she leaves quite a bit of room for invention, yet sustains a semi-structured game plan that recurrently shuns the norm, even when discussing the freer realm of jazz.

Track Listing: Track #1; Track #2; Track #3.

Personnel: Kris Davis: piano; Mat Maneri: viola; Ingrid Laubrock: saxophone; Trevor Dunn: bass; Tom Rainey: drums.

Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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