Did you see bassist Eric Revis in Branford Marsalis' DVD remake
of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme
? He was not impersonating Jimmy Garrison. Unlike Branford's not
imitating Coltrane, you could become hypnotized by his solos. His presence was almost overwhelming.
A member of Branford's band for the past seven years, the bassist began his jazz odyssey with Betty Carter and has recorded with Russell Gunn and James Hurt. His knowledge of post bop is supplemented here by his deep respect for the grooves of funk and rock.
The hook is applied early here with the opening track. Revis walks you into body movement with his acoustic bass. All of which is supplemented by percussionist Khalil Kwame Bell, the shuffle of Tain Watts, and he even drops a nod to Jaco's Word Of Mouth with Gregoire Maret's harmonica. Like Pastorius, he plants his flag neither in the past now present of music. Revis chooses to gather from his favorite music both jazz and non-jazz.
His take on "Lulu's Back In Town" could have been taken from Bill Frisell's Americana book. The bass intro gives way to banjo (Doug Wamble), washboard (Ricky Gordon) and some nifty slide guitar by Oz Noy. Later he employs the Echo String Quartet and some computer programming on "Miles Sebastian" for another piece I can believe is inspired by Mr. Pastorius.
He doesn't ignore his employer; with a tap-tap-tap on the side of his kit, Tain calls to order JD Allen, Duane Eubanks, and Orrin Evans for a piece of post-hard bop Branford will certainly cover soon. The tricky time changes, a signature of Branford's band, are negotiated well.
The Keith Jarrett/Paul Motian-inspired "Phi" highlights the talented Orrin Evans, a neglected US pianist whose records are worth checking out on the Criss Cross label. Evans does move in many directions here. The monster guitar licks of "11:11" are charged by the huge groove (think Laswell) Revis lays down. The disc ends with the brief "Muldoon" and a reprise of Maret's harmonica in duo with pianist Evans. Quite beautiful.
Track Listing: Isitis; Love/Stranger; Tainted; Ayanna; The Enemy Flying; Lulu's Back In Town; Miles In Sebastian;
Black Elk Speaks; Phi; 11:11; Muldoon.
Personnel: Eric Revis: bass; JD Allen: tenor saxophone; Duane Eubanks: trumpet; Orrin Evans: piano;
Oz Noy: guitar; Yosvanny Terry: alto saxophone; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums; Gregoire Maret:
harmonica; Doug Wamble: banjo; Khalil Kwame Bell: percussion; Sherman Irby: alto
saxophone; "Dirty Red" Ricky Gordon: washboards & thangs; Myron Walden: bass clarinet,
alto saxophone; Dana Murray: programming; Erik Carlson: violin; Pat Done: violin; Nadia
Sirota: violin; Clarice Jensen: cello.