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Jeff Davis: Leaf House (2012)

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Jeff Davis: Leaf House Track review of "William Jacob"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Experimental drummer Jeff Davis leads a formidable piano trio that goes against the grain, as it gels to diametric pulses and opposing metrics. Abetted by pianist Russ Lossing
Russ Lossing
Russ Lossing

piano
's hammering block chords and off-center rhythmic improvisations, Davis elevates, prods and generates cyclonic intensity, yet shades or tempers the momentum during the album's introspective moments. His holistic approach to the kit yields numerous residuals, reengineering the rhythmic panorama via swirling cadenzas, fractured blues and free jazz jaunts, or winding matters down to a near whisper in spots.

A capsule of the trio's ingenuity shines on "William Jacob." On this disjointed ballad, bassist extraordinaire Eivind Opsvik's poignant lines complement Davis' sweeping brushes, where the rhythm section outlines a gentle tapestry. Moreover, Lossing's pulsating harmonics and geometrical chord voicings parlay a guessing game of sorts, as the band builds a probing theme and improvises across a melody with zigzagging flows. Keeping things at bay with a sense of anticipation, Opsvik then shifts the tide, sparked by Davis' polyrhythmic barrage as they circle back around to the opening motif. Davis and cohorts marshal a novel perspective on the well-worn jazz piano trio format while flinging more than a few nasty curveballs along the way.

Personnel: Jeff Davis: drums; Eivind Opsvik: bass; Russ Lossing: piano.

Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


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