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Bassist Eric Revis is notoriously comfortable within many jazz contexts and vernaculars. As a leader and session man, he's been in the thick of things, toggling between modern mainstream, trad-jazz, Acid Jazz and other crosscutting musical endeavors. Here, he revisits the freer spectrum, supported by an all-star lineup. And while there's certainly no shortage of group-centric expressionism, the bassist doesn't keep the band in a particular mode or style. Revis' menu generates an oscillating aural experience, where each piece stands on its own.
"Split" is built on succinct contrasts, executed by Revis and pianist Jason Moran's lower register ostinato groove, followed by saxophonist Ken Vandermark's popping notes, spiced with fractured swing inferences. At the onset, the quartet establishes a baseline built on a stirring rhythmic motif, accelerated by drummer Nasheet Waits' blustery rolls and blitzing shuffle beats. The panorama opens up as Vandermark darts, dashes, and bangs out a few bluesy inflections via a torrid solo spot. The intensity level soars as Waits' kicks the overall metric into hyper-mode, leading the musicians back to the primary theme for the closeout. Indeed, Revis and associates stir the kettle many times over and convey an interchanging rhythmic mien throughout the program.
Personnel: Eric Revis: double bass; Nasheet Waits: drums; Jason Moran: piano; Ken Vandermark: tenor saxophone and clarinet.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.