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Eric Revis: Trajectory From The Tradition

R.J. DeLuke By

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That band has been a staple for Revis, but he's also managed other gigs, as well as fashioned his career as a leader. Another important facet is the collaborative trio Tarbaby, with Orrin Evans and Waits, which is still a working band and has an album out on the France-based RogueArt Records label, Fanon. It includes Oliver Lake on sax and Marc Ducret on guitar.

"I'm really fortunate to have relationships that go pretty deep. Orrin is family. The Tarbaby thing is, we're all brothers. It always provides a sense of latitude on and off the bandstand that's really liberating and adds to the music and the overall vibe."

The strong playing and solid career Revis has forged comes out of hard work that included burying himself in the New York scene and learning as much as he could, from experience, from elders, from others working hard on the scene. "I caught the last vestiges of the busy New York jazz scene and influx of young talent," he says. "The emphasis was: you went to New York to get better. Whereas now, guys go and they wanna gig. The overall vibe back then was: a gig is a byproduct of me getting my shit together. In the early '90s, there were two or three jam sessions every night. I caught the last bit of that. Guys older than me would say, 'This is nothing.' They used to have five or six jam sessions a night. Getting out at 5 o'clock in the morning, there were other places to go. It's not the same. Places are closing."

"The emphasis has changed from being part of a continuum. It's more about: my voice, my concept with a lot of young guys, says Revis. That was unheard of. You had a bunch of older guys where you would never say any shit like that. But that seems to get over [nowadays]."

Nonetheless, the music will persevere and outstanding musicians will continue to emerge, he believes.

And Revis' trajectory continues. "Just keep this going," is his plan. "I'm thankful for being in the spot that I am. I want to continue the quartet and I also want to continue the trio with Chris and Andrew. Probably the next thing is another quartet record. Then we'll do stuff with the trio as well."

Photo Credit: Roberto Dominguez
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